Growth in length, weight gain, and head circumference were recorded from 3 months to 4 years of age in 25 children with cystic fibrosis diagnosed by neonatal screening. Mean standard deviation (SD) scores at 3 months for length, weight, and head circumference were -0.78, -0.91, and -0.52 respectively. Over the first 2 years length SD scores showed a consistent improvement and stabilised at 0.1 SD below mean from 2 to 4 years. Weight SD scores remained essentially unaltered throughout, approximately 1 SD below the mean. Head circumference, however, after an initial increase from -0.52 at 3 months to -0.25 at 18 months, slowed and fell to 1 SD below the mean at 4 years. The data suggest that head growth continues to lag behind somatic growth in children with cystic fibrosis despite early diagnosis and good nutritional management in early infancy. These data also support functional expression of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator in the brain.
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