Sudden death in Lesch-Nyhan disease

Vladimir Kostadinov Neychev, H A Jinnah
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 2006, 48 (11): 923-6
To increase awareness of sudden and unexpected death in Lesch-Nyhan disease (LND) and to explore its potential causes, we report the anteceding clinical features and laboratory evaluations of five males with LND who ultimately experienced sudden and unexpected death, along with three additional males who suffered serious respiratory events during life. The ages of patients ranged from 2 to 45 years. The cause of sudden death in LND appears to have a respiratory rather than a cardiogenic basis. All cases cannot be linked readily with a single respiratory process. Instead, different respiratory processes appear to operate in different cases. These may include aspiration, laryngospasm, central apnea, cyanotic breath-holding spells, and high cervical spine damage. Better recognition of these processes will help to guide appropriate workup and management that could include chest imaging, endoscopy of the airways, polysomnography, electroencephalogram, and brain and/or spine imaging.

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