Thursday, August 25, 2011


The Glossary is a work in progress. This just gives a general definition of commonly used terms in the CF world. By no means is this to be considered medical advice. I have tried to include links that give a more in depth explanation than I can for each term. Please let me know if I am missing anything.

65 Roses: Another name for Cystic Fibrosis.


Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis: ABPA. Asthma like response to aspergillus colonization in the lungs.

Aspergillus: Fungus that can attack CF lungs.

Beating: See CPT

Breathing Machine: See Pulmo-Aide


CFer: Patient with Cystic Fibrosis. Usually can be identified by their "smoker's" cough, purple fingernails and blue lips (natural Gothic look) :o)

Chest Vibration: See Vest.

CPT: Chest Percussive Therapy. Therapy designed to loosen mucous from the lungs so that the patient my expel it.

Creon: Brand of pancreatic enzyme. Aides in the digestion of fats, sugars, and proteins.

Cystic Fibrosis: A genetic condition that mostly affects the lungs and digestive system. Other organs are affected over time.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: A place to get up to date information on Cystic Fibrosis, medications, treatments, trials. Anything related to CF.

DNase: See Pulmozyme

Dornase Alpha: See Pulmozyme

Enzymes: Catalysts in the body that speed up the breakdown of molecules. When used on this site, it refers to the capsules that most CFers take to aid in the digestion of food. There are a few brands on the market, but they usually all contain a combination of protease, amylase, and lipase.


Lock Up: Term referring to hospitalizations.

Lung Oyster: Mucous expelled from the lungs.

Miralax: A laxative that is mixed in liquid. Helps rehydrate the intestines. Certain brands of enzymes dehydrate the intestines. Miralax reverses this and reduces constipation.



Nebulizer: Cup like device that connects to a pulmo-aide by a long plastic flexible tube. Designed to aerosol liquids so they can be inhaled during treatments. Several designs out there, each corresponds to specific types of medication. Allowing optimal delivery and the least medicine waste.


PFT: Pulmonary Function Test. A serious of breathing tests that measure how much air the lungs are able to take in and expel in a certain amount of time. Gives doctor an idea of how well the lungs are doing.

Plug: Thick wad of mucous blocking airways. Some are like small pebbles others are lettuce-like in shape. Hard to bring out. Can be painful.

Postural Drainage: Patient lies at a slant to the ground. Head towards the the ground and feet up towards the ceiling. Gravity pulls mucus from small to large airways where it can be coughed up.

Pounding: See CPT

Pseudomonas Aeruginosa: Bacteria known to colonize lungs of CFers.

Pulmo-Aide: A medical grade air compressor. They're designed to provide a certain amount of air pressure needed for nebulized treatments (usually 8 liters/minute). There are several brands out there.

Pulmozyme:  An inhaled enzyme designed to break up mucous. Makes it easier for CF to expel the mucous and helps reduce infections (and plugs).

Resort: Term referring to the hospital.

Scandishake: Hi Calorie nutritional shake. Usually about 600 calories per serving. Comes in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

Spa: Term referring to the hospital.

TOBI: Inhaled tobramycin. Antibiotic designed to weaken the bugs that tend to colonize CF lungs. Doesn't taste too good when inhaled. Can cause sore throats. Recommend milk or butterscotch candy to coat throat. Chew lots of peppermint gum to get rid of the medicine taste after treatment.

Ultrase: Former brand of enzyme. See Enzymes.

Vest: An inflatable vest is attached by flexible tubes to a machine that vibrates it at high frequency. The vest vibrates the chest to loosen mucus. Kind of makes you look like an alien in a space suit.

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