The pulvinar sign: frequency and clinical correlations in Fabry disease.
ABSTRACT Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A that results in cellular accumulation of galactoconjugates, mainly globotriaosylceramide, particularly in blood vessels. Neuroradiological findings include ischemic stroke, white matter lesions, vascular abnormalities (vertebrobasilar dolichoectasia and vessel tortuosity), and posterior thalamus involvement (the so called pulvinar sign). The purpose of our study was to investigate the presence of the increased pulvinar signal intensity on T1-weighted imaging - pulvinar sign and its relationship with other clinical findings, in a non-selected cohort of Fabry patients.
We performed a prospective analysis of two populations of patients (36 subjects) with Fabry disease. Patients were followed-up at the Department of Internal Medicine of the Bichat Hospital in Paris (France) and at the Neurological Clinic of the University Hospital of Padova (Italy). Brain MR studies of each patient included T1- and T2- weighted images, FLAIR sequences, and in some cases diffusion weighted images.
A total of 36 patients (16 males, 20 females) were investigated in 14 families. The pulvinar sign was found in 5 male patients, but not in female patients. Seven patients had had at least one stroke (territorial or lacunar). There was no correlation between stroke and the pulvinar sign. All patients with the pulvinar sign had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Four patients out of five with the pulvinar sign were on dialysis or had a kidney transplantation.
Our findings suggest that the pulvinar sign is a highly specific sign of Fabry disease, found in male patients with cardiac signs and severe kidney involvement.
Article: Vascular syndromes of the thalamus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This article reviews the anatomy, connections, and functions of the thalamic nuclei, their vascular supply, and the clinical syndromes that result from thalamic infarction. Thalamic nuclei are composed of 5 major functional classes: reticular and intralaminar nuclei that subserve arousal and nociception; sensory nuclei in all major domains; effector nuclei concerned with motor function and aspects of language; associative nuclei that participate in high-level cognitive functions; and limbic nuclei concerned with mood and motivation. Vascular lesions destroy these nuclei in different combinations and produce sensorimotor and behavioral syndromes depending on which nuclei are involved. Tuberothalamic territory strokes produce impairments of arousal and orientation, learning and memory, personality, and executive function; superimposition of temporally unrelated information; and emotional facial paresis. Paramedian infarcts cause decreased arousal, particularly if the lesion is bilateral, and impaired learning and memory. Autobiographical memory impairment and executive failure result from lesions in either of these vascular territories. Language deficits result from left paramedian lesions and from left tuberothalamic lesions that include the ventrolateral nucleus. Right thalamic lesions in both these vascular territories produce visual-spatial deficits, including hemispatial neglect. Inferolateral territory strokes produce contralateral hemisensory loss, hemiparesis and hemiataxia, and pain syndromes that are more common after right thalamic lesions. Posterior choroidal lesions result in visual field deficits, variable sensory loss, weakness, dystonia, tremors, and occasionally amnesia and language impairment. These vascular syndromes reflect the reciprocal cerebral cortical-thalamic connections that have been interrupted and provide insights into the functional properties of the thalamus.Stroke 10/2003; 34(9):2264-78. · 6.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fabry disease, OMIM 301500, is a progressive multisystem storage disorder due to the deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A (GALA). Neurological and vascular manifestations of this disorder with regard to hearing loss have not been analysed quantitatively in large cohorts. We conducted a retrospective cross sectional analysis of hearing loss in 109 male and female patients with Fabry disease who were referred to and seen at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA on natural history and enzyme replacement study protocols. There were 85 males aged 6-58 years (mean 31 years, SD 13) and 24 females aged 22-72 years (mean 42 years, SD 12). All patients underwent a comprehensive audiological evaluation. In addition, cerebral white matter lesions, peripheral neuropathy, and kidney function were quantitatively assessed. HL(95), defined as a hearing threshold above the 95th percentile for age and gender matched normal controls, was present in 56% [95% CI (42.2-67.2)] of the males. Prevalence of HL(95) was lower in the group of patients with residual GALA enzyme activity compared with those without detectable activity (33% versus 63%) HL(95) was present in the low-, mid- and high-frequency ranges for all ages. Male patients with HL(95) had a higher microvascular cerebral white matter lesion load [1.4, interquartile range (IQR) 0-30.1 +/- versus 0, IQR 0-0], more pronounced cold perception deficit [19.4 +/- 5.5 versus 13.5 +/- 5.5 of just noticeable difference (JND) units] and lower kidney function [creatinine: 1.6 +/- 1.2 versus 0.77 +/- 0.2 mg/dl; blood urea nitrogen (BUN): 20.1 +/- 14.1 versus 10.3 +/- 3.28 mg/dl] than those without HL(95) (P < 0.001). Of the females, 38% had HL(95). There was no significant association with cold perception deficit, creatinine or BUN in the females. Word recognition and acoustic reflexes analyses suggested a predominant cochlear involvement. We conclude that hearing loss involving all frequency regions significantly contributes to morbidity in patients with Fabry disease. Our quantitative analysis suggests a correlation of neuropathic and vascular damage with hearing loss in the males. Residual GALA activity appears to have a protective effect against hearing loss.Brain 01/2007; 130(Pt 1):143-50. · 9.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fabry disease is a metabolic disorder without a specific treatment, caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (alpha-gal A). Most patients experience debilitating neuropathic pain and premature mortality because of renal failure, cardiovascular disease, or cerebrovascular disease. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravenous alpha-gal A for Fabry disease. Double-blind placebo-controlled trial conducted from December 1998 to August 1999 at the Clinical Research Center of the National Institutes of Health. Twenty-six hemizygous male patients, aged 18 years or older, with Fabry disease that was confirmed by alpha-gal A assay. A dosage of 0.2 mg/kg of alpha-gal A, administered intravenously every other week (12 doses total). Effect of therapy on neuropathic pain while without neuropathic pain medications measured by question 3 of the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI). Mean (SE) BPI neuropathic pain severity score declined from 6.2 (0.46) to 4.3 (0.73) in patients treated with alpha-gal A vs no significant change in the placebo group (P =.02). Pain-related quality of life declined from 3.2 (0.55) to 2.1 (0.56) for patients receiving alpha-gal A vs 4.8 (0.59) to 4.2 (0.74) for placebo (P =.05). In the kidney, glomeruli with mesangial widening decreased by a mean of 12.5% for patients receiving alpha-gal vs a 16.5% increase for placebo (P =.01). Mean inulin clearance decreased by 6.2 mL/min for patients receiving alpha-gal A vs 19.5 mL/min for placebo (P =.19). Mean creatinine clearance increased by 2.1 mL/min (0.4 mL/s) for patients receiving alpha-gal A vs a decrease of 16.1 mL/min (0.3 mL/s) for placebo (P =.02). In patients treated with alpha-gal A, there was an approximately 50% reduction in plasma glycosphingolipid levels, a significant improvement in cardiac conduction, and a significant increase in body weight. Intravenous infusions of alpha-gal A are safe and have widespread therapeutic efficacy in Fabry disease.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 07/2001; 285(21):2743-9. · 29.98 Impact Factor