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Ann Ital Med Int. 2004 Oct-Dec;19(4):269-75.

[Fabry disease in Italy: first epidemiologic and collaborative study].

[Article in Italian]

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Dipartimento di Scienze Pediatriche Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Roma.


The authors sought to define the prevalence of Fabry disease and to establish the incidence and its natural history in Italy. The aim of this study was to point out the first clinical signs and symptoms to perform an early diagnosis and hence to start a specific therapeutic treatment. Fabry disease is an inborn error of metabolism caused by the deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A. Fabry disease is a severe X-linked disorder presenting with a higher morbidity between the third and the fourth decade of life. Fabry disease may be confused with other diseases or completely misdiagnosed: its frequency is estimated worldwide to be 1:117000. In Italy, 65 patients have been identified by several specialized institutions; age, sex, onset of first clinical signs and symptoms were analyzed and reported. In conclusion, this is the first Italian collaborative study that allows to delineate and point out the clinical signs of Fabry disease to perform a correct and early diagnosis. Enzyme replacement therapy is now available and its early beginning can prevent renal and cardiac failure, improve the quality of life and life expectancy in these patients.

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