Screening for Fabry’s disease in a high-risk subpopulation of FMF

Tomer Maller, Ilan Ben-Zvi, Merav Lidar, Avi Livneh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an autosomal recessive disease associated with mutations in the Mediterranean fever gene (MEFV) that manifests with recurrent episodes of febrile serositis. Fabry’s disease (FD) is an X-linked lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations in the alpha-galactosidase A gene and presents with a wide range of gastrointestinal, skin, vascular, renal and neurological manifestations. FMF and FD share similar manifestations, which may lead to misdiagnosis of one as the other; mostly FD is misdiagnosed as FMF. Moreover, various overlapping manifestations may stem from comorbidities, commonly coupled to FMF (such as Behcet's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, glomerulonephritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis), as well as from colchicine adverse effects, which may add to the diagnostic confusion. Thus, we postulated that screening FMF for FD will lead to the identification of patients falsely diagnosed with FMF or who, in addition to FMF, suffer from FD that was previously missed. Methods: To identify missed FD among the FMF population, we performed chemical and genetic analyses for FD in blood samples obtained from a cohort of FMF patients followed in the specialized FMF center of our institution. To increase the likelihood of detecting patients with FD, we enriched the surveyed FMF population with patients exhibiting manifestations shared by patients with FD or who deviate from the typical FMF presentation. Results and conclusions: Of 172 surveyed FMF patients in a cohort derived from a clinic dedicated to FMF, none had FD. Thus, the postulation of increased odds for detecting FD in patients with FMF was not confirmed. Further exploration for FD in FMF population, is nevertheless recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number210
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


FundersFunder number
Sanofi Genzyme


    • Adverse effects
    • Colchicine
    • Comorbidities
    • Fabry’s disease
    • Familial Mediterranean fever
    • Misdiagnosis


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