Observational Prospective Natural History of Patients with Sanfilippo Syndrome Type B

J Pediatr. 2018 Jun;197:198-206.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.01.044. Epub 2018 Apr 13.


Objective: To evaluate the natural course of disease progression in patients with Sanfilippo syndrome type B (mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB), identify potential end points for future therapy trials, and characterize biomarkers related to the disease.

Study design: A prospective, multicenter study was conducted. Baseline, 6-month, and 12-month assessments included neurodevelopmental status (Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Third edition), adaptive status (Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition), volumetric brain magnetic resonance imaging, cerebrospinal fluid heparan sulfate, and urine glycosaminoglycan (GAG) measurements.

Results: Nineteen patients aged 1.6-31.7 years were enrolled. Over 12 months, cognition, adaptive behavior, and cortical gray matter volume (GMV) declined in most patients. For patients diagnosed at <6 years, although there was no overall mean change over 12 months, there were 10%-48%, 3%-66%, and 1%-14% decreases in cognitive development quotient score, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition development quotient score, and cortical GMV in 8/12, 9/11, and 10/11 patients, respectively. Mean urine GAG and cerebrospinal fluid heparan sulfate levels were stable, but patients diagnosed at <6 years (n = 14) had higher levels than those ≥6 years at diagnosis (n = 4), which was likely associated with age as they also were generally younger.

Conclusions: Cognition, adaptive behavior, and cortical GMV measures sensitively tracked deterioration in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB aged ≤8.6 years. Biomarkers may have prognostic value, but their sensitivity to disease progression requires further investigation. These findings should help evaluate enzyme replacement and gene therapy agents for this rare, devastating, neurodegenerative disease.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01509768.

Keywords: biomarkers; disease progression; mucopolysaccharidosis type III B; prospective study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Glycosaminoglycans / urine
  • Heparitin Sulfate / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis III / complications
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis III / diagnosis*
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / etiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Heparitin Sulfate

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01509768