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Severe manifestations and treatment of COVID-19 in a transplanted patient with Fabry disease


Fabry disease is an X linked disease caused by pathogenic variants in the GLA gene. The cardiovascular and renal systems are most affected in Fabry patients and may require heart or kidney transplants in the late stages of the disease depending on severity of manifestations. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has proven to delay progression of Fabry disease considerably, especially when started early in life. Current research has shown that individuals who have received cardiac or renal transplants or are currently on dialysis have the greatest probability of developing severe manifestations of COVID-19. It has also been shown that people who contract COVID-19 experience a rapid increase in cytokine levels which can lead to a prothrombotic state and have a greater risk in the presence of comorbidities. A history of cardiac or renal transplants as well as the naturally elevated cytokine levels in Fabry disease make it likely that COVID-19 could have a greater impact on the health of these patients. We report the case of a 67-year-old male with diabetes mellitus, history of kidney transplant, and Fabry disease treated late in progression of the disease first with agalsidase beta ERT, then oral migalastat who developed severe manifestations of COVID-19. The autopsy findings showed acute and organizing hyaline membrane disease consistent with COVID-19 pneumonia and secondary invasive bronchopulmonary aspergillosis with cavitary lesion formation. The sections of the heart showed scattered subendocardial fibrosis, and the transplanted kidneys showed thyroidization and interstitial nephritis potentially secondary to COVID-19, in addition to his long-standing renal disease. This case report serves to chronicle complications in a complex patient with late stage Fabry disease and multiple COVID-19 related complications who succumbed from respiratory failure despite the advanced management for the COVID-19 infection.

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