Urinary biomarker investigation in children with Fabry disease using tandem mass spectrometry

Clin Chim Acta. 2015 Jan 1;438:195-204. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2014.08.002. Epub 2014 Aug 19.


Background: Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder affecting both males and females with tremendous genotypic/phenotypic variability. Concentrations of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3), globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3)/related analogues were investigated in pediatric and adult Fabry cohorts. The aims of this study were to transfer and validate an HPLC-MS/MS methodology on a UPLC-MS/MS new generation platform, using an HPLC column, for urine analysis of treated and untreated pediatric and adult Fabry patients, to establish correlations between the excretion of Fabry biomarkers with gender, treatment, types of mutations, and to evaluate the biomarker reliability for early detection of pediatric Fabry patients.

Method: A UPLC-MS/MS was used for biomarker analysis.

Results: Reference values are presented for all biomarkers. Results show that gender strongly influences the excretion of each biomarker in the pediatric Fabry cohort, with females having lower urinary levels of all biomarkers. Urinary distribution of lyso-Gb3/related analogues in treated Fabry males was similar to the untreated and treated Fabry female groups in both children and adult cohorts. Children with the late-onset p.N215S mutation had normal urinary levels of Gb3, and lyso-Gb3 but abnormal levels of related analogues.

Conclusions: In this study, Fabry males and most Fabry females would have been diagnosed using the urinary lyso-Gb3/related analogue profile.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Children; Fabry disease; Globotriaosylceramide; Globotriaosylsphingosine and analogues; Mass spectrometry.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / urine*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cohort Studies
  • Fabry Disease / diagnosis*
  • Fabry Disease / genetics
  • Fabry Disease / urine*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Glycolipids / urine*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Sphingolipids / urine*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Trihexosylceramides / urine*
  • Young Adult
  • alpha-Galactosidase / genetics


  • Biomarkers
  • Glycolipids
  • Sphingolipids
  • Trihexosylceramides
  • globotriaosyl lysosphingolipid
  • globotriaosylceramide
  • GLA protein, human
  • alpha-Galactosidase