Effect of enzyme therapy and prognostic factors in 69 adults with Pompe disease: an open-label single-center study

Juna M. de Vries, Nadine Anna Maria Elisabeth van der Beek, Wim C. J. Hop, Francois P. J. Karstens, John H. Wokke, Marianne de Visser, Baziel G. M. van Engelen, Jan B. M. Kuks, Anneke J. van der Kooi, Nicolette C. Notermans, Catharina G. Faber, Jan J. G. M. Verschuuren, Michelle E. Kruijshaar, Arnold J. J. Reuser, Pieter A. van Doorn, Ans T. van der Ploeg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) in adults with Pompe disease, a progressive neuromuscular disorder, is of promising but variable efficacy. We investigated whether it alters the course of disease, and also identified potential prognostic factors. Methods: Patients in this open-label single-center study were treated biweekly with 20 mg/kg alglucosidase alfa. Muscle strength, muscle function, and pulmonary function were assessed every 3-6 months and analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA. Results: Sixty-nine patients (median age 52.1 years) were followed for a median of 23 months. Muscle strength increased after start of ERT (manual muscle testing 1.4 percentage points per year (pp/y); hand-held dynamometry 4.0 pp/y; both p <0.001). Forced vital capacity (FVC) remained stable when measured in upright, but declined in supine position (-1.1 pp/y; p = 0.03). Muscle function did not improve in all patients (quick motor function test 0.7 pp/y; p = 0.14), but increased significantly in wheelchair-independent patients and those with mild and moderate muscle weakness. Relative to the pre-treatment period (49 patients with 14 months pre-ERT and 22 months ERT median follow-up), ERT affected muscle strength positively (manual muscle testing +3.3 pp/y, p <0.001 and hand-held dynamometry +7.9 pp/y, p <0.001). Its effect on upright FVC was +1.8 pp/y (p = 0.08) and on supine FVC +0.8 (p = 0.38). Favorable prognostic factors were female gender for muscle strength, and younger age and better clinical status for supine FVC. Conclusions: We conclude that ERT positively alters the natural course of Pompe disease in adult patients; muscle strength increased and upright FVC stabilized. Functional outcome is probably best when ERT intervention is timely.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2012


  • Pompe disease
  • Glycogen storage disease type II
  • OMIM number 232300
  • Acid alpha-glucosidase
  • Alglucosidase alfa
  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Lysosomal storage disorder
  • Muscle strength
  • Lung function


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