Clinical and Laboratory Findings on Glycogen Storage Disease Type V: Results from a Retrospective Observational Study in a Tertiary Hospital

Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2023 Sep 14. doi: 10.2174/1871530323666230914122936. Online ahead of print.


Introduction - Glycogen storage disease type V (GSDV, MIM #232600) is an autosomal recessive metabolic myopathy caused by pathogenic variants in the PYGM gene. The characteristic symptoms of exercise intolerance, myalgia, and cramps, which improve after a few minutes of rest, are frequently unrecognized in affected children. When there is clinical suspicion, the initial approach with a forearm exercise test has diagnostic value by detecting low post-exercise plasma lactate-to-ammonia ratio values. The diagnostic algorithm is followed by genetic testing if the results suggest myophosphorylase deficiency. Methods - This was a retrospective observational study conducted based on reviewing medical records of patients with GSDV in a tertiary hospital. We assessed demographic variables, including the timing of onset and diagnosis, relevant clinical characteristics, and whether genetic testing was performed, including its results. Results/Case Report - Our goal was to review the GSDV cases in our center to assess our cohort's diagnostic timing and clinical and genetic characteristics. We identified 28 patients from 24 families, three with consanguinity. The mean age at the time of the study was 43 years. While most (26/28; 93%) recalled their first symptoms in childhood/adolescence, only 25% (7/28) were diagnosed then. All patients had exercise intolerance and CK elevation, while about half reported the second wind phenomenon. Genetic testing was performed in 22 patients, revealing biallelic PYGM variants (9 homozygous, 13 compound heterozygous) as the most common (p.R50*). Conclusion - GSDV is rare and presents in the pediatric age, with subtle manifestations often underestimated for decades. A late diagnosis may negatively impact the psychosocial development of affected children. It is essential to recognize some unique features that facilitate diagnosis: history of exercise intolerance, the second wind sign, and high resting serum CK levels. Identifying the disease-causing variants in PYGM is currently the gold standard for diagnosis as it is less invasive than performing a muscle biopsy, and may promptly diagnose the condition and avoid wrongful labelling of patients.

Keywords: Creatine Kinase; Exercise intolerance; Glycogen storage disease type V; PYGM.