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Mortality in Friedreich ataxia. J Neurol Sci 2011 Aug 15;307(1-2):46-9 PMID: 21652007

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although cardiac dysfunction is widely accepted as the most common cause of mortality in Friedreich ataxia (FRDA), no studies have evaluated this since the advent of specific clinical and genetic diagnostic criteria.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of FRDA patients to determine cause of death followed by a case-control analysis comparing characteristics of deceased patients with living, age- and sex-matched FRDA controls.

RESULTS: Causes of death were cardiac dysfunction (59%), probable cardiac dysfunction (3.3%), non-cardiac (27.9%) or unknown (9.8%). Compared to non-cardiac deaths, cardiac deaths occurred earlier in the disease course (median 29 vs. 17years respectively). Congestive heart failure and arrhythmia were common causes of cardiac-related death. Compared to living, matched FRDA controls, deceased patients had longer triplet repeat lengths and higher rates of arrhythmia and dilated cardiomyopathy. The presence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy did not differ between deceased and living patients.

CONCLUSION: Cardiac dysfunction was the most frequent cause of death (59%), most commonly from congestive heart failure or arrhythmia. Arrhythmia and dilated cardiomyopathy were significantly more common in deceased patients compared to matched FRDA controls, while in contrast, the presence of cardiac hypertrophy did not differ. More research is needed to establish the clinical significance of hypertrophy in FRDA.

Author List

Tsou AY, Paulsen EK, Lagedrost SJ, Perlman SL, Mathews KD, Wilmot GR, Ravina B, Koeppen AH, Lynch DR

Author

Erin Klein MD Assistant Professor in the Emergency Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Arrhythmias, Cardiac
Cardiomyopathy, Dilated
Case-Control Studies
Cohort Studies
Comorbidity
Female
Friedreich Ataxia
Heart Diseases
Heart Failure
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Retrospective Studies



View this publication's entry at the Pubmed website PMID: 21652007
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