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Enzyme replacement therapy and fatigue in adults with Pompe disease

Deniz Güngör, Juna M de Vries, Esther Brusse, Michelle E Kruijshaar, Wim C J Hop, Magda Murawska, Linda E M van den Berg, Arnold J J Reuser, Pieter A van Doorn, Marloes L C Hagemans, Iris Plug, Ans T van der Ploeg
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 2013, 109 (2): 174-8

BACKGROUND: Pompe disease is a hereditary metabolic myopathy, for which enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has been available since 2006. We investigated whether ERT reduces fatigue in adult patients with Pompe disease.

METHODS: In this prospective international observational survey, we used the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) to measure fatigue. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze the data over time. In a subgroup of patients, we also evaluated muscle strength using the Medical Research Council Scale, measured pulmonary function as Forced Vital Capacity, and assessed depression using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

RESULTS: We followed 163 patients for a median period of 4 years before ERT and for 3 years during ERT. Before ERT, the mean FSS score remained stable at around 5.3 score points; during ERT, scores improved significantly by 0.13 score points per year (p < 0.001). Fatigue decreased mainly in women, in older patients and in those with shorter disease duration. Patients' improvements in fatigue were moderately correlated with the effect of ERT on depression (r 0.55; CI 95% 0.07 to 0.70) but not with the effect of ERT on muscle strength or pulmonary function.

CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue is a common and disabling problem in patients with early and advanced stages of Pompe disease. Our finding that ERT helps to reduce fatigue is therefore important for this patient population, irrespective of the mechanisms underlying this effect.

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