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Neurology. 1998 Jun;50(6):1746-9.

Quantitative analysis of cerebral vasculopathy in patients with Fabry disease.

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Developmental and Metabolic Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1260, USA.



This study's purpose was to obtain a quantitative natural history of the cerebrovascular involvement in Fabry disease.


Fabry disease is an X-linked recessive disorder due to alpha-galactosidase A deficiency. Progressive accumulation of ceramidetrihexoside within the intima and media of cerebral blood vessels causes ischemic lesions in the majority of affected patients. Determination of the natural history of the cerebral vasculopathy in Fabry disease is important to assess the effects of therapeutic intervention in this disorder.


A longitudinal MRI study of 50 patients who had a total of 129 MRI scans was performed. The burden of cerebrovascular disease was determined using direct linear measurement.


On T2-weighted MRI scans, 32% of the patients had no lesions (mean age, 33 years), 16% had gray matter lesions only (mean age, 36 years), 26% had lesions in white matter only (mean age, 43 years), and 26% had lesions in white and gray matter (mean age, 47 years). Disease burden increased with age, but no patient younger than 26 had lesions on MRI. All patients older than 54 had cerebrovascular involvement. The distribution of MRI-detectable lesions was typical of a small-vessel disease. Only 37.5% of patients with cerebral lesions had neurologic symptoms.


These findings provide a predictable outcome measure to assess the effect of molecular interventions on the cerebrovascular circulation in Fabry disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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