Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Intern Med J. 2002 Dec;32(12):575-84.

Clinical features of Fabry's disease in Australian patients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Nephrology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



Anticipating the prospect of specific treatment, we studied a large group of Australians with Fabry's disease.


We aimed to: (i) document the clinical features of Fabry's disease in Australian patients, (ii) test the hypothesis that clinical features vary with specific mutation and blood group and (iii) assess small-fibre peripheral nerve function.


A questionnaire was forwarded to all Australian patients known to us. Patients were invited to attend for clinical, renal cardiac, ophthalmological and neurological assessment.


Sixty-seven patients (29 men and 38 women) from 18 families participated. Diagnosis in index cases was delayed by > or = 10 years in nearly all families. Common clinical features are: (i) episodic acroparaesthesia (100% of hemizygotes; 53% of heterozygotes), (ii) anhydrosis (93%; 1%), (iii) characteristic rash (93%; 13%), (iv) renal disease (69%; 21%), (v) ischaemic heart disease (28%; 26%), (vi) palpitations (62%; 29%), (vii) mitral valve murmurs (37%; 23%) and (viii) premature cerebrovascular disease (31%; 5%). Ophthalmic findings of cornea verticillata (96%; 76%) and anterior cataract (48%; 14%) were common. Findings were variable within and between families. In women, anhydrosis reliably predicts the presence of significant Fabry's renal disease. Small nerve fibre testing using quantitative sensory testing was clearly abnormal in 95% of male patients, and in those female patients with paraesthesiae.


Symptoms of anhydrosis, acroparaesthesiae, rash and renal disease suggest diagnosis of Fabry's. Women are commonly symptomatic, and the advent of therapy highlights the practical advantage of earlier diagnosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk