Cardiac characteristics and natural progression in Taiwanese patients with mucopolysaccharidosis III

Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2019 Jun 13;14(1):140. doi: 10.1186/s13023-019-1112-7.


Background: Mucopolysaccharidosis type III (MPS III), or Sanfilippo syndrome, is caused by a deficiency in one of the four enzymes involved in the lysosomal degradation of heparan sulfate. Cardiac abnormalities have been observed in patients with all types of MPS except MPS IX, however few studies have focused on cardiac alterations in patients with MPS III.

Methods: We reviewed medical records, echocardiograms, and electrocardiograms of 26 Taiwanese patients with MPS III (five with IIIA, 20 with IIIB, and one with IIIC; 14 males and 12 females; median age, 7.4 years; age range, 1.8-26.5 years). The relationships between age and each echocardiographic parameter were analyzed.

Results: Echocardiographic examinations (n = 26) revealed that 10 patients (38%) had valvular heart disease. Four (15%) and eight (31%) patients had valvular stenosis or regurgitation, respectively. The most prevalent cardiac valve abnormality was mitral regurgitation (31%), followed by aortic regurgitation (19%). However, most of the cases of valvular heart disease were mild. Three (12%), five (19%) and five (19%) patients had mitral valve prolapse, a thickened interventricular septum, and asymmetric septal hypertrophy, respectively. The severity of aortic regurgitation and the existence of valvular heart disease, aortic valve abnormalities and valvular stenosis were all positively correlated with increasing age (p < 0.05). Z scores > 2 were identified in 0, 38, 8, and 27% of left ventricular mass index, interventricular septal end-diastolic dimension, left ventricular posterior wall end-diastolic dimension, and aortic diameter, respectively. Electrocardiograms in 11 patients revealed the presence of sinus arrhythmia (n = 3), sinus bradycardia (n = 2), and sinus tachycardia (n = 1). Six patients with MPS IIIB had follow-up echocardiographic data at 1.9-18.1 years to compare with the baseline data, which showed some patients had increased thickness of the interventricular septum, as well as more patients had valvular abnormalities at follow-up.

Conclusions: Cardiac involvement in MPS III is less common and milder compared with other types of MPS. The existence of valvular heart disease, aortic valve abnormalities and valvular stenosis in the patients worsened with increasing age, reinforcing the concept of the progressive nature of this disease.

Keywords: Cardiac; Echocardiography; Electrocardiography; Mucopolysaccharidosis III; Valvular heart disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Heart Valve Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Valve Diseases / metabolism*
  • Heart Valve Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis III / diagnostic imaging
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis III / metabolism*
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis III / pathology*
  • Young Adult