INTRODUCTION: Cystic Fibrosis pulmonary exacerbations are critical events in the lives of people with CF that have deleterious effects on lung function, quality of life, and life expectancy. There are significant unmet needs in the management of exacerbations. We review here the associated inflammatory changes that underlie these events and are of interest for the development of biomarkers of exacerbation.
AREAS COVERED: Inflammatory responses in CF are abnormal and contribute to a sustained proinflammatory lung microenvironment, abundant in proinflammatory mediators and deficient in counter-regulatory mediators that terminate and resolve inflammation. There is increasing interest in these inflammatory pathways to discover novel biomarkers for pulmonary exacerbation management. In this review, we explore the inflammatory changes occurring during intravenous antibiotic therapy for exacerbation and how they may be applied as biomarkers to guide exacerbation therapy. A literature search was conducted using the PubMed database in February 2020.
EXPERT OPINION: Heterogeneity in inflammatory responses to treatment of a pulmonary exacerbation, a disease process with complex pathophysiology, limits the clinical utility of individual biomarkers. Biomarker panels may be a more successful strategy to capture informative changes within the CF population to improve pulmonary exacerbation management and outcomes.