Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II

In: GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993.
[updated ].


Clinical characteristics: Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II; also known as Hunter syndrome) is an X-linked multisystem disorder characterized by glycosaminoglycan (GAG) accumulation. The vast majority of affected individuals are male; on rare occasion heterozygous females manifest findings. Age of onset, disease severity, and rate of progression vary significantly among affected males. In those with early progressive disease, CNS involvement (manifest primarily by progressive cognitive deterioration), progressive airway disease, and cardiac disease usually result in death in the first or second decade of life. In those with slowly progressive disease, the CNS is not (or is minimally) affected, although the effect of GAG accumulation on other organ systems may be early progressive to the same degree as in those who have progressive cognitive decline. Survival into the early adult years with normal intelligence is common in the slowly progressing form of the disease. Additional findings in both forms of MPS II include: short stature; macrocephaly with or without communicating hydrocephalus; macroglossia; hoarse voice; conductive and sensorineural hearing loss; hepatosplenomegaly; dysostosis multiplex; spinal stenosis; and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Diagnosis/testing: The diagnosis of MPS II is established in a male proband by identification of deficient iduronate 2-sulfatase (I2S) enzyme activity in white cells, fibroblasts, or plasma in the presence of normal activity of at least one other sulfatase. Detection of a hemizygous pathogenic variant in IDS confirms the diagnosis in a male proband with an unusual phenotype or a phenotype that does not match the results of GAG testing. The diagnosis of MPS II is usually established in a female proband with suggestive clinical features by identification of a heterozygous IDS pathogenic variant on molecular genetic testing.

Management: Treatment of manifestations: Interventions commonly include: developmental, occupational, and physical therapy; shunting for hydrocephalus; tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy; positive pressure ventilation (CPAP or tracheostomy); carpal tunnel release; cardiac valve replacement; inguinal hernia repair; hip replacement.

Prevention of primary manifestations: Weekly enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with infusions of idursulfase (Elaprase®), a recombinant form of human iduronate 2-sulfatase, is approved to treat somatic manifestations and prolong survival. Pretreatment with anti-inflammatory drugs or antihistamines may be needed for mild or moderate infusion reactions. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) (using umbilical cord blood or bone marrow) could provide sufficient enzyme activity to slow or stop the progression of the disease; however, no controlled clinical studies have been conducted in MPS II.

Prevention of secondary complications: Anesthesia is best administered in centers familiar with the potential complications in persons with MPS II.

Surveillance: Depends on organ system and disease severity and usually includes annual: cardiology evaluation and echocardiogram; pulmonary evaluation including pulmonary function testing; audiogram; ophthalmology examination; developmental assessment; neurologic examination. Additional studies may include: sleep study for obstructive apnea; nerve conduction velocity to assess for carpal tunnel syndrome; head/neck MRI to document ventricular size and cervicomedullary narrowing; opening pressure on lumbar puncture; and orthopedic evaluation to monitor hip disease.

Evaluation of relatives at risk: While clinical experience suggests that early diagnosis of at-risk males allows initiation of ERT before the onset of irreversible changes and often before significant disease progression, it is unclear at present whether the potential benefits of early initiation of ERT justify early diagnosis by either newborn screening or testing of at-risk male relatives.

Genetic counseling: MPS II is inherited in an X-linked manner. The risk to sibs depends on the genetic status of the mother. If the mother of the proband has the pathogenic variant, the chance of transmitting it in each pregnancy is 50%. Males who inherit the pathogenic variant will be affected; females who inherit the pathogenic variant will be carriers. Germline mosaicism has been observed. Affected males pass the pathogenic variant to all of their daughters and none of their sons. Carrier testing for at-risk female relatives and prenatal testing for pregnancies at increased risk are possible if the pathogenic variant in the family is known.

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