Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 79–83 | Cite as

Diagnosis of Fabry Disease via Analysis of Family History

  • Dawn A. Laney
  • Paul M. Fernhoff
Original Research


Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage condition caused by a deficiency of α-galactosidase A. In order to determine the average number of family members who are diagnosed with Fabry disease following the diagnosis of a proband, four lysosomal storage disease centers across the United States reviewed the completed pedigrees of their Fabry disease patients. In addition, data from three Fabry disease families from other centers were submitted by patients directly. The pedigree review found 74 probands (54 males and 20 females) who had 357 diagnosed family members, of which 223 were female (60.5%) and 146 were male (39.5%). Analysis found that, on average, there were five family members diagnosed with Fabry disease for every proband. Now that enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is available for the treatment of Fabry disease, this finding emphasizes the need for all health care professionals to ensure a detailed pedigree has been constructed for each patient affected by Fabry disease and to encourage testing and evaluation of all at-risk family members.


Fabry disease Family history Diagnosis Lysosomal storage disease X-linked 



We thank Fabry Support and Information Group and the families who participated in this study by sharing their pedigrees. We gratefully acknowledge Angie Fox, MS and the University of Washington, Brooke Smith, MS and the Greenwood Genetic Center, and CeeCee Fairley, MS and the University of California—San Francisco for generously sharing their time and pedigree review data. No grant of financial support was provided for this study.


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emory Department of Human GeneticsDecaturUSA

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