Electrocardiographic and vectorcardiographic abnormalities in Fabry's disease

Am Heart J. 1977 Jun;93(6):699-705. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8703(77)80064-1.


Fabry's disease has been reported to be associated with ECG abnormalities. Thirty-two patients with this disease followed in the University of Minnesota had ECG's and 15 had VCG's. An abonrmal rhythm was observed in two patients on initial examination and four more developed abnormal rhythm on follow-up examinations. A short PR interval (120 msec. or less) was seen in five patients. Thirteen others had a PR interval that was less than 140 msec. Conduction abnormalities involving the A-V node or His bundle or its branches were present in 22 per cent of the patients, most frequently the intraventricular conduction defects progressing to the right bundle branch block. Atrial or ventricular enlargement was seen in 60 per cent of the patients, left ventricular hypertrophy being the most common. ST-T changes with or without chamber enlargement were seen in 10 patients. One patient had an anterior myocardial infarction pattern on his ECG. Hemizygosity was found to be associated with significantly more abnormalities than heterozygosity. The severity of conduction defects also increased with the duration of the disease process. Vectorcardiography in this study did not provide significant additional information other than that observed on the ECG alone. Since the pathology usually reveals myocardial fibers, conduction system, and blood vessels infiltrated with glycosphingolipid, it is believed that lipid infiltration is responsible for conduction defects, chanber enlargement, and other abnormalities. Although Fabry's disease is rate, it may be amenable to therapy; therefore, recognition of cardiac involvement is important.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology
  • Child
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Fabry Disease / diagnosis*
  • Fabry Disease / genetics
  • Fabry Disease / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genotype
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology
  • Heart Rate
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vectorcardiography*