Historical note: Horace Dobell's report of cystic fibrosis in 1872

Published:August 21, 2022DOI:


      • Horace Dobell described a recognizable picture of cystic fibrosis in 1872.
      • His description included lung disease, steatorhea, and familial recurrence.
      • He actually treated the steatorhea with a pancreatic extract.


      In 1872, Horace Dobell, a respected Victorian physician, described the key features of cystic fibrosis, with pancreatic insufficiency, pulmonary disease, and familial recurrence, plus effective treatment of steatorrhea with a pancreatic extract, and was aware of the combination of digestive and pulmonary disease in the pediatric population! This antedated modern descriptions of the full disorder by over 60 years.


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