Heart transplant and 2-year follow up in a child with generalized arterial calcification of infancy

Eur J Pediatr. 2014 Dec;173(12):1735-40. doi: 10.1007/s00431-014-2447-7. Epub 2014 Nov 1.


Generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI, OMIM 208000) and pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE, OMIM 264800) are rare autosomal-recessive disorders which represent the opposite ends of the same spectrum of pathologies characterized by progressive ectopic calcification and degeneration of elastic fibers at skin, eyes, and cardiovascular level. Patients with GACI suffer from hypertension, severe myocardial ischemia, and congestive heart failure and often die within 6 months of life. On the other end, PXE is associated with considerable morbidity, rarely with mortality. GACI and PXE are associated with biallelic mutations in ENPP1 and in ABCC6. We report the case of a 4-year-old Italian child submitted to heart transplant, at 18 months old, for end-stage heart failure due to extensive myocardial infarction of the left ventricle and diffuse coronary calcifications. The histology showed generalized arterial calcification and the molecular analysis identified mutations in ABCC6. Two years after transplantation, the child shows good clinical conditions and growth with no recurrence of calcium deposits in the heart.

Conclusion: Bisphosphonate therapy at present is the treatment of choice for systemic arterial involvement in GACI, and heart transplant has proven to be the definitive treatment in case with extensive myocardial infarction, as in our. Molecular analysis is mandatory for a complete diagnosis and familial counseling.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Angiography
  • DNA / genetics
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Heart Failure / surgery*
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pyrophosphatases / genetics
  • Pyrophosphatases / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vascular Calcification / complications*
  • Vascular Calcification / diagnosis
  • Vascular Calcification / genetics


  • ABCC6 protein, human
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins
  • DNA
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase phosphodiesterase 1
  • Pyrophosphatases

Supplementary concepts

  • Arterial calcification of infancy