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Zellweger Spectrum Disorder

Histologic and ultrastructural features in early and advanced phases of Zellweger spectrum disorder (infantile Refsum disease).
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Histologic and ultrastructural features in early and advanced phases of Zellweger spectrum disorder (infantile Refsum disease).

Ultrastruct Pathol. 2018 Feb 26;:1-8

Authors: Warren M, Mierau G, Wartchow EP, Shimada H, Yano S

Abstract
Zellweger spectrum disorders (ZSD) are rare autosomal recessive inherited metabolic disorders and include severe (Zellweger syndrome) and milder phenotypes [neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy and infantile Refsum disease (IRD)]. ZSD are characterized by impaired peroxisomal functions and lack of peroxisomes detected by electron microscopy (EM). ZSD are caused by mutations in any of the 14 PEX genes. Patients with ZSD commonly demonstrate nonspecific hepatic symptoms within the first year, often without clinical suspicion of ZSD. Thus, recognition of pathologic findings in the liver is critical for the early diagnosis. We herein demonstrate the histologic and ultrastructural features in liver biopsies in the early and advanced phases from a 16-year-old male with IRD. The initial biopsy at 5 months of age showed a lack of peroxisomes by EM, and this finding played a critical role in the early diagnosis. In contrast, the second biopsy at 14 years of age, after long-term diet therapy, demonstrated significant disease progression with near-cirrhotic liver. In addition to lack of peroxisomes, EM revealed abundant trilamellar inclusions within large angulated lysosomes in many of the hepatocytes and Kupffer cells. Mitochondrial abnormalities were identified only in the second biopsy and were mainly identified in damaged cells; thus they were likely nonspecific secondary changes. This is the first report demonstrating histological and ultrastructural features of liver biopsies in the early and advanced phases from a child with ZSD. Trilamellar inclusions are considered to be an ultrastructural hallmark of ZSD, but they may not be apparent in the early phases.

PMID: 29482424 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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