Background: Fabry disease (FD) is an X-linked, lysosomal storage disorder leading to severe cardiomyopathy in a significant proportion of patients. To identify ECG markers that reflect early cardiac involvement and disease progression, we conducted a long term retrospective study in a large cohort of FD patients. Methods: A total of 1995 ECGs from 133 patients with classical FD (64% females, 80% treated with enzyme replacement therapy), spanning 20 years of follow-up, were compared to ECGs from 3893 apparently healthy individuals. Generalized linear mixed models were used to evaluate the effect of age, FD and sex on: P-wave duration, PR-interval, QRS-duration, QTc, Cornell index, spatial QRS-T angle and frontal QRS-axis. Regression slopes and absolute values for each parameter were compared between FD patients and control subjects. Results: At a younger age (<40 years), the Cornell index was higher and frontal QRS-axis more negative in FD patients compared to controls (p < 0.05). For the other ECG parameters, the rate of change, more than the absolute value, was greater in FD patients compared to controls (p < 0.05). From the fifth decade (men) or sixth (women) onwards, absolute values for P-wave duration, QRS-duration, QTc and spatial QRS-T angle were longer and higher in FD patients compared to control subjects. Conclusions: ECG abnormalities indicative of FD are age and sex dependent. Tracking the rate of change in ECG parameters could be a good way to detect disease progression, guiding treatment initiation. Moreover, monitoring ECG changes in FD can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number354
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Fabry cardiomyopathy
  • Fabry disease
  • treatment evaluation

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