Fabry disease revisited: Management and treatment recommendations for adult patients

Mol Genet Metab. 2018 Apr;123(4):416-427. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2018.02.014. Epub 2018 Feb 28.


Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the GLA gene leading to deficient α-galactosidase A activity, glycosphingolipid accumulation, and life-threatening complications. Phenotypes vary from the "classic" phenotype, with pediatric onset and multi-organ involvement, to later-onset, a predominantly cardiac phenotype. Manifestations are diverse in female patients in part due to variations in residual enzyme activity and X chromosome inactivation patterns. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) and adjunctive treatments can provide significant clinical benefit. However, much of the current literature reports outcomes after late initiation of ERT, once substantial organ damage has already occurred. Updated monitoring and treatment guidelines for pediatric patients with Fabry disease have recently been published. Expert physician panels were convened to develop updated, specific guidelines for adult patients. Management of adult patients depends on 1) a personalized approach to care, reflecting the natural history of the specific disease phenotype; 2) comprehensive evaluation of disease involvement prior to ERT initiation; 3) early ERT initiation; 4) thorough routine monitoring for evidence of organ involvement in non-classic asymptomatic patients and response to therapy in treated patients; 5) use of adjuvant treatments for specific disease manifestations; and 6) management by an experienced multidisciplinary team.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Fabry disease; Management; Mutation; Treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Management
  • Enzyme Replacement Therapy*
  • Fabry Disease / enzymology
  • Fabry Disease / therapy*
  • Humans
  • alpha-Galactosidase / administration & dosage*


  • alpha-Galactosidase