Canterbury scientist’s study on Cystic Fibrosis in adults to be published

Friday March 15, 2013

A Canterbury biochemistry scientist’s study on Cystic Fibrosis in Adulthood – an evolving spectrum disorder, is to be published next month.
Sandy Woods’ scientific paper has just been accepted for publication in the NZ Journal of Medical Laboratory Science and will be appearing in the April issue.
Sandy is a Medical Laboratory Scientist in Specialist Biochemistry for Canterbury Health Laboratories and says she chose to study Cystic Fibrosis in adulthood after noticing she was testing more adults as part of her job.
“Up until about 2005 these tests were mainly performed on children and babies,” Sandy says.
“Noticing a steady increase in the number of adult appointments for tests, I was curious to know what we were finding?”
In Sandy’s study she reviewed 15 years worth of adult cases investigated through CHL where Cystic Fibrosis was suspected. 
“It was evident there were many cases of what has been termed atypical Cystic Fibrosis. So what had previously been considered a defined diagnosis for the disorder is actually much broader. I expect more cases of atypical Cystic Fibrosis will be found in future,” Sandy says.
The oldest patient Sandy found in her study with atypical Cystic Fibrosis was 79 years of age.
“One of the most common and heartening things that adult patients say to me is that they are just so grateful to finally have an answer to chronic illness that has previously gone undiagnosed,” she says.   
Sandy’s scientific paper is due to be published in the NZIMLS Journal in the April issue 2013. It is entitled: Cystic Fibrosis in Adulthood – an evolving spectrum disorder.
Sandy first started training as a medical laboratory assistant at Christchurch Hospital Laboratory in 1988. She qualified in 1994 in Clinical Biochemistry with a Diploma of Medical Laboratory Technology.
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Page last reviewed: 09 July 2013