Physical therapy management of Pompe disease

Genet Med. 2006 May;8(5):318-27. doi: 10.1097/01.gim.0000217789.14470.c5.


Pompe disease (Glycogen storage disease type II, GSDII, or acid maltase deficiency) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by deficiency of acid alpha-glucosidase resulting in intra-lysosomal accumulation of glycogen and leading to progressive muscle dysfunction. The natural history of infantile-onset Pompe disease is characterized by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and profound generalized weakness presenting in the first few months of life, with rapid progression and death usually occurring by one year of age. Late-onset Pompe disease is characterized by onset of symptoms after one year of age, less severe or absence of cardiac involvement and slower progression, with symptoms primarily related to progressive dysfunction of skeletal muscles and respiratory muscle involvement. Recent clinical trials of enzyme replacement therapy have begun to allow greater opportunity for potential improvement in motor status, function, and survival than ever before, with hopes of moving toward maximizing physical function for individuals with Pompe disease. Children are living longer with some achieving independent sitting, creeping, and walking-milestones typically never achieved in the untreated natural history of the disorder. With increased survival, clinical management based on an understanding of the pathology and pathokinesiology of motor function gains importance. This article reviews current knowledge regarding the motor system in Pompe disease and provides an overview of physical therapy management of Pompe disease, including management strategies for individuals on enzyme replacement therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / physiopathology
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Muscle Weakness / physiopathology
  • Muscle Weakness / therapy
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Musculoskeletal Abnormalities / prevention & control
  • Musculoskeletal Abnormalities / therapy
  • Physical Therapy Modalities* / standards