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Fabry disease in children: correlation between ocular manifestations, genotype and systemic clinical severity
  1. L E Allen1,
  2. E M Cosgrave1,
  3. J P Kersey1,
  4. U Ramaswami2
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Paediatric Metabolic Unit, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to L E Allen, Department of Ophthalmology, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Box 41, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK; louise.allen{at}


Background/aims Fabry disease is an X linked lysosomal disorder associated with severe multiorgan failure and premature death. This study aims to determine the prevalence of ophthalmic manifestations in children with the condition and investigate the correlation with genotype and systemic disease severity.

Methods The records of 26 children from 18 pedigrees with Fabry disease undergoing regular ophthalmic and systemic examination were reviewed. All pedigrees underwent GLA gene sequencing to determine genotype. Correlations between ocular and systemic phenotype and genotype were investigated.

Results Corneal verticillata occurred in 50% of the children in this study (95% CI, 29% to 79%). Children with ophthalmic manifestations were more likely to have loss-of-function GLA mutations (p=0.003). Retinal vascular tortuosity was seen in seven children (27%), all of whom had systemic symptoms suggestive of autonomic neuropathy, such as diarrhoea and syncope. These symptoms seemed less prevalent in children without retinal vascular changes, although this did not reach statistical significance (p=0.134).

Conclusion Ophthalmic manifestations of Fabry disease are common even in young children with loss-of-function GLA gene mutations. Although the limited sample size possibly prevented statistical significance, systemic symptoms of autonomic neuropathy often coexist with retinal vascular changes and may share the same pathogenesis.

  • Child
  • eye diseases/diagnosis
  • Fabry disease/complications
  • Fabry disease/diagnosis
  • Fabry disease/drug therapy
  • Fabry disease/physiopathology
  • genetics
  • child health (paediatrics)

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.