Cystic fibrosis

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Duke’s pulmonary program is nationally ranked for its advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cystic fibrosis, and its research efforts which are improving patients’ quality of life. Our cystic fibrosis specialists continue to play an integral role in the greater national effort toward improved care, and finding a cure for people who suffer from cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis care and treatment

Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease that forms thick mucus in the airways of the lungs, causing severe difficulty with breathing and digestion. If you or your family member has cystic fibrosis, we have the expertise to help you manage and live with the disease. Our team includes pulmonologists and critical care specialists, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, social workers, and a pharmacist. Pulmonary and sleep medicine specialists in the Duke Cystic Fibrosis Center are also dedicated to the identification and treatment of cystic fibrosis in children.

Our lung transplant program is one of the largest in the country and has been highly successful in treating cystic fibrosis patients, particularly those whose lung infections don’t respond to antibiotics.

Choose Duke for cystic fibrosis treatment because of our:

  • Top-ranked care. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke’s lung experts 5th in the nation, based our patients’ survival rates, the number of procedures we perform, and the quality of our support services.
  • Focus on you and your family. We value family involvement in our individualized care and are committed to providing outstanding care to our patients.
  • Research and multicenter clinical trials. Our physicians and researchers work closely together and with their counterparts at other institutions to better understand, treat, and eventually develop a cure for cystic fibrosis. Improvements in antibiotics, drug-delivery systems, and pulmonary rehabilitation, as well as recent strides in technology, show great promise for cystic fibrosis patients and those who carry the cystic fibrosis gene.
  • Lung transplant expertise and experience. Our lung transplant program ranks among the nation’s best, with survival rates above the national average and the shortest wait time to transplant in the U.S. Our research team works with medical partners around the nation to help develop and improve drugs to treat and prevent infections from affecting transplanted lungs.
  • Advanced medical records technology. Our secure online portal, Duke MyChart, allows you to view test results, make appointments, request prescription refills, and message your doctor using any Web-enabled device. Our technology also allows anyone on your care team to securely access your health information, making sure you always get care that's right for you and based on the latest evidence.


As we treat your cystic fibrosis, we also work to prevent and control lung infections, loosen and remove mucus, prevent and treat intestinal blockage, and provide adequate nutrition. Some of the cystic fibrosis treatment options you may receive include:


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