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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1996 Jan;120(1):86-9.

Atypical Fabry's disease. An oligosymptomatic variant.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Hanyang University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Fabry's disease is a rare, inherited, X-linked metabolic storage disease with ceramide hexoside due to alpha-galactosidase A deficiency. Patients with typical Fabry's disease usually present with several clinical manifestations of corneal dystrophy, neurologic abnormalities, cardiovascular disease, heavy proteinuria, and characteristic cutaneous angiokeratoma. However, atypical Fabry's disease with oligosymptomatic phenotype presents with symptoms restricted solely to cardiocytes or kidney and might be diagnosed by chance during a routine endomyocardial or renal biopsy examination. In this article, we report a case of Fabry's disease incidentally diagnosed in a 34-year-old man who presented with intermittent trace or 1(+) proteinuria only. This patient had no history of renal disease in any other family member. A renal biopsy to evaluate trace proteinuria revealed histologic and ultrastructural findings compatible with Fabry's disease. Subsequent to the renal biopsy, a skin biopsy on a few initially unrecognized, scattered, dark-pinkish scrotal papules showed typical angiokeratoma. A biochemical enzymatic assay of alpha-galactosidase in urine and plasma revealed a markedly decreased enzyme level in the hemizygous range.

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