Ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death in Fabry disease: a systematic review of risk factors in clinical practice

Shanat Baig, Nicky C. Edward, Dipak Kotecha, Boyang Liu, Sabrina Nordin, Rebecca Kozor, James C. Moon, Tarekegn Geberhiwot, Richard P. Steeds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Fabry disease (FD) is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of α-galactosidase A enzyme. Cardiovascular (CV) disease is a common cause of mortality in FD, in particular as a result of heart failure and arrhythmia, with a significant proportion of events categorized as sudden. There are no clear models for risk prediction in FD. This systematic review aims to identify the risk factors for ventricular arrhythmia (VA) and sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) in FD. A systematic search was performed following PRISMA guidelines of EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane from inception to August 2016, focusing on identification of risk factors for the development of VA or SCD. Thirteen studies were included in the review (n = 4185 patients) from 1189 articles, with follow-up of 1.2-10 years. Weighted average age was 37.6 years, and 50% were male. Death from any cause was reported in 8.3%. Of these, 75% was due to CV problems, with the majority being SCD events (62% of reported deaths). Ventricular tachycardia was reported in 7 studies, with an average prevalence of 15.3%. Risk factors associated with SCD events were age, male gender, left ventricular hypertrophy, late gadolinium enhancement on CV magnetic resonance imaging, and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia. Although a multi-system disease, FD is a predominantly cardiac disease from a mortality perspective, with death mainly from SCD events. Limited evidence highlights the importance of clinical and imaging risk factors that could contribute to improved decision-making in the management of FD.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2017


  • Journal Article
  • fabry disease
  • systematic review
  • sudden cardiac death
  • ventricular tachycardia
  • risk factors
  • arrhythmia


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