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International Journal of Hepatology
Volume 2017, Article ID 5128760, 9 pages
Review Article

Imaging the Abdominal Manifestations of Cystic Fibrosis

1Department of Medicine, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
2Department of Radiology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
3University College of Dublin School of Medicine, Dublin, Ireland
4Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to C. D. Gillespie; moc.liamg@lligaraic

Received 28 August 2016; Revised 17 December 2016; Accepted 9 January 2017; Published 29 January 2017

Academic Editor: Pierluigi Toniutto

Copyright © 2017 C. D. Gillespie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a multisystem disease with a range of abdominal manifestations including those involving the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Recent advances in management of the respiratory complications of the disease has led to a greater life expectancy in patients with CF. Subsequently, there is increasing focus on the impact of abdominal disease on quality of life and survival. Liver cirrhosis is the most important extrapulmonary cause of death in CF, yet significant challenges remain in the diagnosis of CF related liver disease. The capacity to predict those patients at risk of developing cirrhosis remains a significant challenge. We review representative abdominal imaging findings in patients with CF selected from the records of two academic health centres, with a view to increasing familiarity with the abdominal manifestations of the disease. We review their presentation and expected imaging findings, with a focus on the challenges facing diagnosis of the hepatic manifestations of the disease. An increased familiarity with these abdominal manifestations will facilitate timely diagnosis and management, which is paramount to further improving outcomes for patients with cystic fibrosis.