Long-term treatment effect in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis depends on age at treatment start

Bianca M. L. Stelten*, Hidde H. Huidekoper, Bart P. C. van de Warrenburg, Eva H. Brilstra, Carla E. M. Hollak, Harm R. Haak, Leo A. J. Kluijtmans, Ron A. Wevers, Aad Verrips

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective To evaluate the effect of chenodeoxycholic acid treatment on disease progression in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX). Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we report the clinical long-term follow-up characteristics of 56 Dutch patients with CTX. Age at diagnosis was correlated with clinical characteristics and with the course of modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores at follow-up. Results Median follow-up time was 8 years (6 months-31.5 years). Patients diagnosed and treated before the age of 24 years had a significantly better outcome at follow-up. When considering only patients with a good treatment adherence (n = 43), neurologic symptoms, if present, disappeared in all patients who were diagnosed before the age of 24 and treated since. Furthermore, treatment prevented the development of new neurologic symptoms during follow-up. In contrast, 61% of the patients diagnosed and treated after the age of 24 showed deterioration of the neurologic symptoms, with parkinsonism as a treatment-resistant feature. There was an improvement or stabilization in favor of patients diagnosed and treated before the age of 24 compared to those treated after the age of 24: 100% vs 58% for mRS scores and 100% vs 50% for EDSS scores, respectively. Conclusions Treatment start at an early age can reverse and even prevent the development of neurologic symptoms in CTX. This study emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis in CTX and provides a rationale to include CTX in newborn screening programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E83-E95
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2019


  • CTX


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