Hearing loss in fabry disease: A 16 year follow-up study of the Danish nationwide cohort

Puriya Daniel Würtz Yazdanfard, Grigoris Effraimidis, Christoffer Valdorff Madsen, Lars Holme Nielsen, Åse Krogh Rasmussen, Jørgen Holm Petersen, Søren Schwartz Sørensen, Lars Køber, Vitor Hugo Fraga de Abreu, Vibeke Andrée Larsen, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Fabry disease (FD) is a lysosomal storage disorder resulting in systemic accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) causing multi-organ dysfunction. The audiologic involvement in FD has been neglected in previous studies; while not a lethal aspect of the disease, hearing loss can have a significantly negative impact on quality of life.

Objective: To investigate hearing loss from baseline through 16 years follow-up of the Danish FD cohort and to compare audiometric data to other clinical variables.

Methods: Data was collected prospectively and assessed retrospectively during a period of 16 years from 83 patients (age: 9-72 years; sex: 29 males and 54 females). 55 patients underwent treatment. Air conduction thresholds was assessed at six frequencies between 0.25 and 8 kHz bilaterally. Data was analyzed using multilinear models.

Results: Mean follow-up period for patients undergoing a FD specific treatment was 7.8 years (0-12.8 years, SD 3.8 years, n = 55). Hearing thresholds for FD patients deviated from healthy individuals at all frequencies for both sexes (p < 0.001). Males had more profound hearing loss than females at high frequencies (4,8 kHz) (p = 0.025). There was no improvement in hearing with treatment (p = 0.343♂, p = 0.256♀). No associations between hearing loss and measured glomerular filtration rate, left ventricular wall thickness or cerebral white matter lesions were found. Lower plasma Gb3 concentration correlated with better hearing (p = 0.046) in males.

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated significant hearing loss in FD patients compared to audiologically healthy individuals at all frequencies, and no change in hearing during treatment. Lower plasma Gb3 concentrations correlated with better hearing in males.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100841
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Albuminuria
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Fabry disease
  • Genetic disorder
  • Hearing loss
  • Lysosomal storage disorder
  • White matter lesions
  • X-linked disorder


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