Mono-symptomatic Fabry disease in a population with mild-to-moderate left ventricular hypertrophy

Maria Fuller, Rebecca Perry, Madiha Saiedi, Janice M. Fletcher, Joseph B. Selvanayagam

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Fabry disease (FD) results from a deficiency in the exoglycohydrolase, α-galactosidase A (AGA), an enzyme required for the sequential degradation of glycosphingolipids, which consequently accumulate in the lysosomes of affected cells. An X-linked inherited metabolic disorder, FD has a high incidence of a later onset phenotype that is under-diagnosed and under-recognised in adulthood despite the availability of specific treatment. As the first presenting feature in adults is often left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), we hypothesized that testing patients with an attenuated echocardiographic phenotype of unexplained hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, might identify cases of undiagnosed FD. We employed a simple screening test by measuring AGA activity in dried blood spots collected from a finger-prick of blood in a cohort of 511 individuals aged between 18 and 75 with LVH between 1.2 and 1.5 cm. Two males were identified with AGA activity below the reference interval and subsequent molecular testing confirmed the commonly reported genetic variants, p.Ala143Thr in one individual and p.Asn215Ser, in the other. Additional biochemical measurement of plasma, lyso-Gb1 was normal in both patients. Of the 179 females screened, one individual returned AGA activity slightly below the reference interval but was lost to further follow-up. This pilot study suggests that screening patients with mild-to-moderate LVH of unknown aetiology does indeed identify undiagnosed cases of FD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100697
Number of pages3
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Fabry disease
  • Left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Lysosomal storage disorder
  • Screening


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