Effects of long-term cysteamine treatment in patients with cystinosis

Gema Ariceta, Vincenzo Giordano, Fernando Santos
Pediatric Nephrology 2019, 34 (4): 571-578
Cystinosis is a rare autosomal-recessive lysosomal storage disease with high morbidity and mortality. It is caused by mutations in the CTNS gene that encodes the cystine transporter, cystinosin, which leads to lysosomal cystine accumulation. Patients with infantile nephropathic cystinosis, the most common and most severe clinical form of cystinosis, commonly present with renal Fanconi syndrome by 6-12 months of age, and without specific treatment, almost all will develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by 10-12 years of age. Early corneal cystine crystal deposition is a hallmark of the disease. Cystinosis also presents with gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., vomiting, decreased appetite, and feeding difficulties) and severe growth retardation and may affect several other organs over time, including the eye, thyroid gland, gonads, pancreas, muscles, bone marrow, liver, nervous system, lungs, and bones. Cystine-depleting therapy with cysteamine orally is the only specific targeted therapy available for managing cystinosis and needs to be combined with cysteamine eye drops for corneal disease involvement. In patients with early treatment initiation and good compliance to therapy, long-term cysteamine treatment delays progression to ESRD, significantly improves growth, decreases the frequency and severity of extrarenal complications, and is associated with extended life expectancy. Therefore, early diagnosis of cystinosis and adequate life-long treatment with cysteamine are essential for preventing end-organ damage and improving the overall prognosis in these patients.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.