Clinical spectrum of infantile free sialic acid storage disease

Am J Med Genet. 1999 Feb 19;82(5):385-91.


Infantile free sialic acid storage disease (ISSD) is a rare autosomal recessive metabolic disorder caused by a lysosomal membrane transport defect, resulting in accumulation of free sialic acid within lysosomes. Only a few cases have been described. We report on three new cases of ISSD with different modes of presentation: an infant with nephrotic syndrome, a case of fetal and neonatal ascites with heart failure, and a case of fetal ascites with esophageal atresia type III. From these patients and a review of the literature (27 cases total) we draw the following conclusions. 1) "Coarse facies," fair complexion, hepatosplenomegaly, and severe psychomotor retardation are constant findings in this disorder. 2) Nephrotic syndrome occurred in most cases (four in seven) in which renal evaluation was performed. Therefore, ISSD is an important cause of nephrosis in infants with a storage disorder phenotype. 3) Fetal/neonatal ascites or hydrops was the mode of presentation in 13 (60%) of 21 cases. Thus, ISSD enters in the differential diagnosis of hydrops fetalis with a storage disease phenotype. 4) Cardiomegaly was evident in nine cases. 5) Corneae were always clear, and albinoid fundi were reported in five cases. 6) Dysostosis multiplex was not prominent. 7) Bone marrow aspiration could be negative. 8) Death ensued in early infancy with a mean age of 13.1 months. All reported deaths were caused by respiratory infections.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ascites / congenital
  • Ascites / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Atresia / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Heart Failure / congenital
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Hydrops Fetalis / diagnosis
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / genetics
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / metabolism*
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / urine
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / diagnosis


  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid