Survival and long-term outcomes in late-onset Pompe disease following alglucosidase alfa treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Neurol. 2017 Apr;264(4):621-630. doi: 10.1007/s00415-016-8219-8. Epub 2016 Jul 2.


A number of studies have assessed the efficacy of alglucosidase alfa as an enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) on motor and respiratory endpoints in patients with late-onset Pompe disease (LOPD). A previous review evaluated the clinical efficacy and safety of alglucosidase alfa; however, it is difficult to draw inferences from individual studies due to small patient populations, particularly in evaluating the benefit on survival. To evaluate the current evidence on the long-term efficacy of alglucosidase alfa with regard to survival, motor, and respiratory function in patients with LOPD in relation to the natural progression of the disease, a new systematic literature review was performed identifying studies that assessed either mortality, percent predicted forced vital capacity (% FVC), or the 6-min walk test (6MWT) among treated and untreated LOPD patients. Patient overlap was avoided by removing smaller studies or ensuring the use of only one conflicting study per outcome. Mortality was modeled using Poisson models for each treatment group. Outcomes were modeled using first- and second-order fractional polynomial meta-analysis with fixed- and random-effects. Meta-regression was used to explore sources of heterogeneity. Twenty-two publications pertaining to 19 studies/trials were selected, including 438 patients when accounting for overlaps, with the average study duration being 45.7 months. Patients treated with alglucosidase alfa in these studies had a nearly five-fold lower mortality rate than untreated patients (rate ratio: 0.21; 95 % credible interval: 0.11, 0.41). On average, % FVC declined consistently among untreated patients, including a 2.3 % decline after 12 months follow-up and 6.2 % decline after 48 months. This is in contrast to alglucosidase alfa-treated patients, who, on average, improved rapidly, with an increase of 1.4 % FVC after 2 months, followed by a slow regression back to baseline over a three-year period. Nonetheless, the relative difference between those treated and not grew over time, from 4.5 % FVC after 12 months to 6 % FVC after 48 months. In the 6MWT, alglucosidase alfa-treated patients on average had the largest improvement over the first 20 months of treatment of approximately 50 meters increase over baseline, with its substantial stabilization in the following years. By comparison, untreated patients do not show 6MWT improvement over time. Alglucosidase alfa has a beneficial effect in LOPD patients as demonstrated by improvements in survival and ambulation maintained over time, as well as prevention of deterioration in respiratory function.

Keywords: Alglucosidase alfa; Enzyme replacement therapy; Glycogen storage disease type 2; Late-onset Pompe disease (LOPD); Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / drug therapy*
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome*
  • alpha-Glucosidases / therapeutic use*


  • GAA protein, human
  • alpha-Glucosidases