Long-term follow-up in patients with CCFDN syndrome

Walter MC, Bernert G, Zimmermann U, Mullner-Eidenbock A, Moser E, Kalaydjieva L, Lochmuller H, Muller-Felber W

Neurology 83(15):1337-44, October 2014
DOI: 10. 1212/ WNL. 0000000000000874


Objective: We describe the 10-year follow-up in a cohort of 16 patients with genetically confirmed congenital cataracts, facial dysmorphism, and neuropathy (CCFDN) syndrome, providing new insights in the clinical course of the disease.

Methods: We performed a detailed clinical and paraclinical characterization and 10-year follow-up study in 16 patients with molecularly defined CCFDN syndrome, illustrating that CCFDN is a severe disabling disorder.

Results: All patients initially presented with congenital cataracts along with strabismus, facial dysmorphism, short stature, and demyelinating neuropathy. In all patients, paresis of small hand muscles and foot extensors worsened with disease progression, while ataxia scores remained stable or improved. Nerve conduction velocity was normal in early infancy up to 18 months, decreased to approximately 20 m/s around age 10 years, and then remained stable; distal motor latency was prolonged. Sensory nerve conduction velocities were slowed, and initially of normal amplitude. With disease progression, both sensory and motor nerves showed reduction of amplitudes indicating axonal loss. In 6 patients, acute severe proximal weakness and myalgia after febrile infections, along with rhabdomyolysis, myoglobinuria, and hyperCKemia, led to a less favorable outcome and permanent loss of ambulation in 3 patients.

Conclusions: CCFDN should be classified as a recessive demyelinating sensory-motor neuropathy, and axonal loss is a major determinant of long-term outcomes and disability. Patients benefit from early and ongoing physiotherapy, and should be thoroughly counseled regarding virus-triggered rhabdomyolysis and the risk of malignant hyperthermia. Whether supplementation with liposoluble vitamins results in a therapeutic benefit should be evaluated in further studies.

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