The link between fecal indicators of intestinal inflammation and cystic fibrosis (CF)-related abdominal symptoms were investigated by the researchers for prospective research. The CFAbd-Score, a CF-specific patient-related outcome measure developed and validated in accordance with FDA criteria, was used to evaluate these. Fecal calprotectin (FC), M2-pyruvate kinase (M2-PK), interleukins IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, and neutrophilic elastase (NE) concentrations were evaluated in feces from CF patients (n=41) and healthy volunteers (n=27). The CFAbd-Score was used to record abdominal symptoms over the previous two weeks. The patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) comprised 28 questions divided into 5 areas for assessing multi-organic abdominal involvement in CF.

FC, IL-1, M2-PK, and NE levels in feces, as well as CFAbd-Scores, were substantially greater in CF patients than in healthy controls (all P <0.01). Furthermore, substantial variations in pain sensations, bowel movement issues, reduced quality of life, and eating and hunger disorders were discovered between the two groups. FC was the most accurate indicator for CF-related intestinal inflammation, which was associated with considerably higher rates of abdominal pain in the CFAbd-Score, as well as the general quality of life issues such as gastrointestinal-related disturbed sleep and frustration.

Using the CFAbd-Score as a CF-specific PROM for identifying and quantifying abdominal symptoms indicated that in CF, abdominal discomfort and poor quality of life were linked to intestinal inflammation.