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GM1 gangliosidosis is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in GLB1 encoding a lysosomal β-galactosidase. This disease is a continuum from the severe infantile form with rapid neurological decline to the chronic adult form, which is not life-limiting. The intermediate or type 2 form can be further classified into late infantile and juvenile forms. The frequency and severity of skeletal outcomes in late infantile and juvenile patients have not been characterized. Our goals are to describe the radiological skeletal abnormalities, bone mineral density (BMD), and frequency of fractures in patients with intermediate GM1 gangliosidosis. We evaluated 13 late infantile and 21 juvenile patients as part of an ongoing natural history study. Average time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was 1.9 and 6.3 years for late infantile and juvenile patients, respectively. All late infantile patients had odontoid hypoplasia and pear-shaped vertebral bodies, the frequency of which was significantly different than in patients with juvenile disease (none and 14%, respectively). Juvenile patients had irregular endplates of the vertebral bodies (15/21), central indentation of endplates (10/21), and squared and flat vertebral bodies (10/21); all allowed radiographic differentiation from late infantile patients. Lumbar spine, femoral neck, and total hip BMD were significantly decreased (-2.1, -2.2, and -1.8 Z-scores respectively). Lumbar spine BMD peaked at 19 years, while distal forearm BMD peaked at 30 years. Despite low BMD, no patients exhibited fractures. We have demonstrated that all late infantile patients have some degree of odontoid hypoplasia suggesting the need for cervical spine evaluation particularly prior to anesthesia, whereas juvenile patients had variable skeletal involvement often affecting activities of daily living. Type 2 GM1 gangliosidosis patients have skeletal abnormalities that are both an early indication of their diagnosis, and require monitoring and management to ensure the highest possible quality of life. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Carlos R Ferreira, Debra S Regier, Robin Yoon, Kristen S Pan, Jean M Johnston, Sandra Yang, Jürgen W Spranger, Cynthia J Tifft. The skeletal phenotype of intermediate GM1 gangliosidosis: Clinical, radiographic and densitometric features, and implications for clinical monitoring and intervention. Bone. 2020 Feb;131:115142

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PMID: 31704340

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