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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 30

Pediatr Nephrol

Fabry disease and kidney involvement: starting from childhood to understand the future.


Chimenz R, Chirico V, Cuppari C, Ceravolo G, Concolino D, Monardo P, Lacquaniti A
Pediatr Nephrol. 2021 Apr 30.
PMID: 33928440.


The accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb-3) in multiple organs, such as the heart, kidney, and nervous system, due to mutations in the galactosidase alpha (GLA) gene, represents the key point of Fabry disease (FD). The common symptoms appear in childhood or adolescence, including neuropathic pain, angiokeratoma, acroparesthesia, and corneal opacities. A multi-organ involvement induces a significant deterioration in the quality of life with high mortality in adulthood. The accumulation of Gb-3 involves all types of kidney cells beginning at fetal development, many years before clinical manifestations. A decline in the glomerular filtration rate is rare in children, but it can occur during adolescence. Pediatric patients rarely undergo kidney biopsy that could assess the efficacy of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) behind its diagnostic role. To date, diagnosis is achieved by detecting reduced α-Gal-A activity in leukocytes and plasma, allowing for the early start of ERT. This review focuses on pediatric kidney involvement in FD, analyzing in depth its diagnostic processes and treatment options.