- Pediatric Annals
- December 2010 - Volume 39 · Issue 12: 759-768
“Every physician’s first duty is to diagnose — accurately and promptly.”
This mantra is taught to medical students and residents and should be a guiding principle for our day-to-day practice.
In the case of cystic fibrosis (CF), diagnosis by clinical suspicion can be challenging because of the multiple and sometimes subtle ways that CF can present, presented in Sidebar 1 (see page 760). Because symptoms may be subtle, the diagnosis of CF can be delayed by months to years. Delayed diagnosis can lead to failure to thrive with permanent growth-stunting, the development and progression of lung disease, and frustration for parents undergoing the “diagnostic odyssey” before an eventual diagnosis of CF.1
Michael J. Rock, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jack K. Sharp, MD, CM, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics, State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dr. Rock and Dr. Sharp have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Address correspondence to: Michael J. Rock, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 600 Highland Ave., mail code 9988, Madison, WI 53792.