Nationwide screening for Fabry disease in unselected stroke patients

Tomek A, Petra R, Paulasová Schwabová J, Olšerová A, Škorňa M, Nevšímalová M, Šimůnek L, Herzig R, Fafejtová Š, Mikulenka P, Táboříková A, Neumann J, Brzezny R, Sobolová H, Bartoník J, Václavík D, Vachová M, Bechyně K, Havlíková H, Prax
T, Šaňák D, Černíková I, Ondečková I, Procházka P, Rajner J, Škoda M, Novák J, Škoda O, Bar M, Mikulík R, Dostálová G, Linhart A;

PLoS One. 2021 Dec 14;16(12):e0260601. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0260601. PMID: 34905550; PMCID:PMC8670679.


3 Jan 2022

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Background and aims: Fabry disease (FD) is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by disease-associated variants in the alpha-galactosidase A gene (GLA). FD is a known cause of stroke in younger patients. There are limited data on prevalence of FD and stroke risk in unselected stroke patients.

Methods: A prospective nationwide study including 35 (78%) of all 45 stroke centers and all consecutive stroke patients admitted during three months. Clinical data were collected in the RES-Q database. FD was diagnosed using dried blood spots in a stepwise manner: in males-enzymatic activity, globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3) quantification, if positive followed by GLA gene sequencing; and in females GLA sequencing followed by lyso-Gb3.

Results: 986 consecutive patients (54% men, mean age 70 years) were included. Observed stroke type was ischemic 79%, transient ischemic attack (TIA) 14%, intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) 7%, subarachnoid hemorrhage 1% and cerebral venous thrombosis 0.1%. Two (0.2%, 95% CI 0.02-0.7) patients had a pathogenic variant associated with the classical FD phenotype (c.1235_1236delCT and p.G325S). Another fourteen (1.4%, 95% CI 0.08-2.4) patients had a variant of GLA gene considered benign (9 with p.D313Y, one p.A143T, one p.R118C, one p.V199A, one p.R30K and one p.R38G). The index stroke in two carriers of disease-associated variant was ischemic lacunar. In 14 carriers of GLA gene variants 11 strokes were ischemic, two TIA, and one ICH. Patients with positive as compared to negative GLA gene screening were younger (mean 60±SD, min, max, vs 70±SD, min, max, P = 0.02), otherwise there were no differences in other baseline variables.

Conclusions: The prevalence of FD in unselected adult patients with acute stroke is 0.2%. Both patients who had a pathogenic GLA gene variant were younger than 50 years. Our results support FD screening in patients that had a stroke event before 50 years of age.

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