Characterization of vertigo and hearing loss in patients with Fabry disease

Research paper by Maria Köping, Wafaa Shehata-Dieler, Dieter Schneider, Mario Cebulla, Daniel Oder, Jonas Müntze, Peter Nordbeck, Christoph Wanner, Rudolf Hagen, Sebastian P. Schraven

Indexed on: 16 Aug '18Published on: 15 Aug '18Published in: Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases


Fabry Disease (FD) is an X-linked hereditary lysosomal storage disorder which leads to a multisystemic intralysosomal accumulation of globotriaosylceramid (Gb3). Besides prominent renal and cardiac organ involvement, patients commonly complain about vestibulocochlear symptoms like high-frequency hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo. However, comprehensive data especially on vertigo remain scarce. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and characteristics of vertigo and hearing loss in patients with FD, depending on renal and cardiac parameters and get hints about the site and the pattern of the lesions.Single-center study with 57 FD patients. Every patient underwent an oto-rhino-laryngological examination as well as videonystagmography and vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) and audiological measurements using pure tone audiometry and auditory brainstem response audiometry (ABR). Renal function was measured by eGFR, cardiac impairment was graduated by NYHA class.More than one out of three patients (35.1%) complained about hearing loss, 54.4% about vertigo and 28.1% about both symptom. In 74% a sensorineural hearing loss of at least 25 dB was found, ABR could exclude any retrocochlear lesion. Caloric testing showed abnormal values in 71.9%, VEMPs were pathological in 68%. A correlation between the side or the shape of hearing loss and pathological vestibular testing could not be revealed.Hearing loss and vertigo show a high prevalence in FD. While hearing loss seems due to a cochlear lesion, peripheral vestibular as well as central nervous pathologies cause vertigo. Thus, both the site of lesion and the pathophysiological patterns seem to differ.