Research Article

Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy in cystic fibrosis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 17 March 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:822
  1. S Braude,
  2. H Kennedy,
  3. M Hodson,
  4. J Batten


    Seven adult patients with cystic fibrosis who had radiological evidence of hypertrophic osteoarthropathy were reviewed. In five of the patients symptoms were particularly pronounced at times of acute infective exacerbations; appropriate treatment of the infective episodes resulted in reduction or resolution of the bone pain and joint effusions. Despite this symptomatic relief periosteal changes persisted radiologically and their chronic nature was indicated by changes in the midshafts of long bones. Four of the seven patients had transient gynaecomastia or mastalgia related to infective exacerbations. It is hypothesised that a neuroendocrine mechanism--namely, release of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide--might account for the osteoarthropathy.