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J Nephrol. 2004 May-Jun;17(3):354-63.

Enzyme replacement therapy in Fabry's disease: recent advances and clinical applications.

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Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, Infermi Hospital, Rimini, Italy.


Fabry's disease is a rare X-linked recessive disorder resulting from deficient lysosomal enzyme, alpha-galactosidase A (alpha-Gal A) activity. The deficiency leads to progressive glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) accumulation in fluids and tissues, including vascular endothelium, connective tissue, kidney, heart, brain and peripheral nerves. Classic Fabry's disease in hemizygous males has high morbidity and mortality due to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring hemodialysis (HD) or kidney transplantation, myocardial involvement and central nervous system (CNS) complications. Most heterozygous females can also suffer from this severe disease deterioration. Until recently, Fabry's disease management consisted of symptomatic and palliative treatment, but this has changed with the availability of the recombinant human alpha-Gal A enzyme, agalsidase. Two different agalsidase formulations have been obtained: one from human fibroblast (agalsidase alpha), and one from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells (agalsidase beta). Both preparations underwent clinical trials that documented the feasibility, efficacy and safety of the treatment. In addition, several clinical observations have proved that agalsidase reduces the storage of the substrate from several organs and tissues and, consequently, improves signs and symptoms of Fabry's disease. Additional clinical experiences have confirmed the initial clinical trial results, but further studies are needed to evaluate the long-term outcome of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). We reviewed the clinical trial observations, as well as subsequent clinical experiences with ERT in patients with Fabry's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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