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Late-onset Fabry disease: the cardiac sequela
  1. John Tremblay1,
  2. Samuel Kim2,
  3. Edward Philbin2,
  4. Kelly Beers3,
  5. Andrea Lightle4 and
  6. Dmitri Belov2
  1. 1Internal Medicine, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York, USA
  3. 3Department of Nephrology, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York, USA
  4. 4Department of Pathology, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr John Tremblay; tremblj2{at}


We describe a patient with Fabry disease (FD) who initially presented with atrial fibrillation without left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) 14 years before being correctly diagnosed with FD. In the interim, he survived a myocardial infarction complicated by ventricular fibrillation, and his severe LVH was misdiagnosed as sarcomeric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In the following 4 years, he developed proteinuric kidney disease, neuropathy, sensorineural hearing loss and gastrointestinal symptoms. The patient was eventually readmitted for an overt heart failure (HF) exacerbation and was seen by an HF cardiologist. The constellation of systemic findings led to further diagnostic testing, including an endomyocardial biopsy, tests to determine alpha-galactosidase A enzyme activity and α-galactosidase A gene (GLA) analysis. The results of the patient’s tests were consistent with FD and he was started on enzyme replacement therapy. To our knowledge, this is the first detailed description of a late-onset phenotype of FD with c.146 G>C GLA variant. In addition, this case serves as a potent reminder to pay meticulous attention to ‘red flags’ accompanying LVH.

  • Cardiovascular system
  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmias

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  • Contributors JT, SK and DB wrote the original draft, reviewed the literature, revised the manuscript for intellectual content and approved the final manuscript. EP, KB and AL wrote,reviewed, edited and revised the manuscript for intellectual content and approved the final manuscript. JT is the article guarantor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.