Myocardial infarction in Fabry disease – misfortune or companion? Case report and review of the literature (RCD code: III‑3B.2)

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We discuss a 56‑year‑old man with Fabry disease (FD), a genetic X‑linked glycolipid storage disorder. The patient presented at the Emergency Room in a local hospital due to tachycardia‑associated chest pain, which had occurred occasionally in the past, but on that occasion was long‑lasting (>12h) and distressing. The patient had been diagnosed with FD at the age of 42. He presented a range of symptoms characteristic for the condition, including hypertrophic cardiac myopathy with impaired left ventricular relaxation, angiokeratomas, cornea verticillata, hypohydrosis and acroparesthesia. Residual alpha‑galactosidase A activity at diagnosis was ≈3%. The Enzyme Replacement Therapy (ERT) with the agalsidase alpha was induced. A year later pacemaker implantation was performed due to sick sinus syndrome with symptomatic, severe episodes of bradycardia. The initial diagnosis was tachycardia‑associated chest pain with troponin release in the context of FD left ventricular hypertrophy. However, a decision was made to perform an urgent angiographic evaluation to exclude coronary pathology as a potential factor in the clinical picture. Coronary angiography showed a critical, flow-limiting, stenosis of the left anterior descending artery (LAD) which changed the initial type 2 myocardial infarction (MI) diagnosis to the type 1 MI. Percutaneous stent‑assisted treatment was performed with an optimal angiographic and clinical outcome. However, 5 days later the patient developed a minor left hemispheric ischaemic stroke. In conclusion, the clinical course of a rare pathology such as FD may be importantly complicated by other (more common) pathologies. Physicians, in their diagnostic and therapeutic decision‑making, need to be open to thinking beyond the patient label. JRCD 2018; 3 (7): 246–252


rare disease; echocardiography; enzyme replacement therapy; percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty; echocardiography; ischemic stroke


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