- Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common lethal inherited disease in the white population. It is characterized by exocrine gland epithelia dysfunction, which leads to pulmonary and pancreatic insufficiency. Since the cloning of the CF gene in 1989 and the identification of the most common CF mutation (delta F508), more than 400 different mutations have been described. These mutations appear to contribute to the heterogeneity of the CF phenotype and several reports have speculated on the relationship between the most common CF mutations and the patient's clinical status. We report the case of a 21-year-old woman with longstanding chronic pansinusitis, nasal polyposis, chronic cough and severe nasal crusting. During a period of five years she had been followed by her otolaryngologist and pediatric pulmonologist. Sweat tests performed at the age of 17 and 18 were within normal limits and she underwent repeated conventional sinonasal procedures, with no improvement in her clinical status. On her present admission, sweat tests showed a 70 meq/l chloride concentration. The diagnosis of CF was then confirmed by DNA analysis and the patient was found to carry the 3849 + 10 kB C-->T mutation. The early detection of this newly recognized form of CF in adults as well as in children presenting with sinonasal symptoms is critical for life expectancy and quality.