Welcome to the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy at the Center for Child and Adolescent Medicine in Heidelberg
Bronchial asthma and allergies are the most common acquired chronic diseases in childhood and adolescence, and cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common severe hereditary diseases. The main focus of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy at the Center for Child and Adolescent Medicine in Heidelberg is the diagnosis and treatment of and research into these diseases.
The Cystic Fibrosis Center is integrated into the division. Some 80 children and adolescents are currently being treated for and taught about cystic fibrosis here on a continuous inpatient or outpatient basis by a team of experienced, specially trained physicians, pediatric nurses, physical therapists, dieticians, and psychologists. We also treat adult patients in close cooperation with the Thorax Clinic in Heidelberg-Rohrbach, thus ensuring the continuous treatment of our patients from infancy to adulthood.
One focus of the center is to make a precise assessment when cystic fibrosis is suspected.
Our goal is to diagnose this genetic disease as early as possible and to continually improve the quality of life and life expectancy of our patients through modern, customized treatment.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the genetic code of what is known as the CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator) gene. To make a meaningful diagnosis, we conduct the standard sweat test in collaboration with the Institute of Human Genetics at Heidelberg University Hospital as well as CFTR gene diagnosis and measure the CFTR function in rectal tissue samples (Ussing chamber analysis). This method is used when the sweat test and genetic diagnosis do not yield a clear diagnosis, and it also provides additional information on the future course of the disease. Since 2009 the Heidelberg Cystic Fibrosis Center has been the national reference center for this innovative and very reliable diagnostic procedure.
Our aim is to further clarify the development of cystic fibrosis and improve the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. To achieve this, we collaborate closely with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg on internationally acclaimed research projects that have already received many awards. The results should contribute to the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis in affected children at an earlier stage, enabling us to better predict the course of the disease based on the specific genetic mutation.
Professor Dr. med. Marcus Mall
Head of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy and the Cystic Fibrosis Center