Clinical Research Study| Volume 131, ISSUE 2, P200.e1-200.e8, February 2018

Identification of Fabry Disease in a Tertiary Referral Cohort of Patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Published:September 21, 2017DOI:



      Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficient activity of α-galactosidase A due to mutations in the GLA gene, which may be associated with increased left ventricular wall thickness and mimic the morphologic features of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Management strategies for these 2 diseases diverge, with Fabry disease–specific treatment utilizing recombinant α-galactosidase A enzyme replacement therapy.


      We studied a prospectively assembled consecutive cohort of 585 patients (71% male) from 2 hypertrophic cardiomyopathy tertiary referral centers by screening for low α-galactosidase A activity in dried blood spots. Male patients with low α-galactosidase A activity levels and all females were tested for mutations in the GLA gene.


      In 585 patients previously diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, we identified 2 unrelated patients (0.34%), both with the GLA mutation encoding P.N215S, the most common mutation causing later-onset Fabry disease phenotype. These patients were both asymptomatic, a man aged 53 years and a woman aged 69 years, and demonstrated a mild cardiac phenotype with symmetric distribution of left ventricular hypertrophy. After family screening, a total of 27 new Fabry disease patients aged 2-81 years were identified in the 2 families, including 12 individuals who are now receiving enzyme replacement therapy.


      These observations support consideration for routine prospective screening for Fabry disease in all patients without a definitive etiology for left ventriclar hypertrophy. This strategy would likely result, through cascade family testing, in the earlier identification of new Fabry disease–affected males and female heterozygotes who may benefit from monitoring and/or enzyme replacement therapy.


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