Are annual blood tests in preschool cystic fibrosis patients worthwhile?
Aim: To investigate whether routine annual assessment blood tests in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients under 5 years influence management. Methods: Retrospective review of the results of the first annual assessment blood tests of patients with CF less than 5 years of age during a four year period (1995 99). Management changes were identified from a follow up letter to the general practitioner or local paediatrician. Results: A total of 169 patients (100 female), median age 2.2 years (range 0.3 4.9) were identified. Venepuncture was successful in 93% of patients. Of the 32 individual blood parameters measured, the overall success rate in obtaining a result was 81%. Eleven per cent of patients underwent subsequent management changes, including liver ultrasound, fasting glucose, and a short course of iron. Of particular importance, vitamin A and E concentrations were low in 9% of patients, which prompted an increase in prescribed dose. Conclusions: These results support the recommendations fo