Cystic fibrosis was described as a specific entity in 1936. The failure to recognize it before then was a consequence of the fact that the clinical manifestations are common to many other disorders in infancy. Andersen, at Columbia University, and Fanconi, in Italy, independently described the characteristic clinical findings of cystic fibrosis — that is, pulmonary disease and malnutrition. They also studied the morphologic abnormalities found in the pancreas and lungs on autopsy of infants who died of the disorder. The onset and course of the disease appeared to be uniform; infection of the respiratory system or diarrhea with failure.
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