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Am J Cardiol. 2005 Sep 15;96(6):842-6.

Prevalence and clinical significance of cardiac arrhythmia in Anderson-Fabry disease.

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The Heart Hospital, University College London, London, United Kingdom.


Anderson-Fabry disease (AFD) is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency in the enzyme alpha-galactosidase A. More than 60% of patients with AFD have evidence for cardiac involvement; the prevalence and clinical significance of arrhythmia in AFD are unknown. Seventy-eight consecutive patients (mean age 43.5 +/- 15.0 years, range 13.0 to 83.0; 43 men) with AFD were studied for 1.9 years (range 0.25 to 10). All patients underwent clinical evaluation, 12-lead electrocardiography, and echocardiography. Sixty patients (76.9%) underwent 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring. Persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) was present in 3 of 78 patients (3.9%); 8 (13.3%) had paroxysmal AF, and 5 (8.3%) had nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (VT). Patients with nonsustained VT were all men, with a maximal left ventricular (LV) wall thickness >20 mm. Age (p <0.001), left atrial diameter (p = 0.001), maximal LV wall thickness (p = 0.003), LV mass index (p = 0.009), and angina (p = 0.02) were univariate predictors of AF or paroxysmal AF. Using these predictors in a stepwise logistic regression analysis model, age was the only independent predictor of AF or paroxysmal AF (odds ratio 1.2, 95% confidence interval 1.1 to 1.3, p = 0.001). During follow-up, there was 1 sudden cardiac death, 4 patients received pacemakers for bradyarrhythmia, and 1 received a biventricular pacemaker and an internal cardioverter defibrillator. In conclusion, arrhythmias are common in older patients with AFD. The high incidence of pacemaker implantation and sudden cardiac death suggests that arrhythmia has a significant impact on the natural history of AFD.

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