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 on the diagnosis, treatment and research of these diseases.
The Cystic Fibrosis Center is integrated into the division and provides clinical care for approximately 80 children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis on a continuous inpatient or outpatient basis by a team of experienced, specially trained physicians, pediatric nurses, physical therapists, dieticians, and psychologists. The Cystic Fibrosis Center also treats adult patients with CF 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 Cystic Fibrosis Center is to make a precise diagnostic 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 the CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator) gene. Diagnostic approaches offered at our center include the sweat test, genetic testing for CFTR mutations performed in collaboration with the Institute of Human Genetics at Heidelberg University Hospital, as well as measurements of CFTR function in nasale epithelia (nasal potential difference) and rectal tissue samples (Ussing chamber analysis). These highly sensitive functional assays are used, when the sweat test and genetic testing do not yield a clear diagnosis, and they also provides additional information on the future course of the disease. Since 2009 the Heidelberg Cystic Fibrosis Center has been a national reference center for these innovative and highly reliable diagnostic procedure.
Our aim is to better understand the development of cystic fibrosis and improve the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. To achieve this goal, we collaborate closely with internationally acclaimed research projects that have already received many awards including the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) (www.dzl.de). We expect that the results of this research will contribute to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis.
Professor Dr. med. Marcus A. Mall
Head of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy and the Cystic Fibrosis Center