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Cholesteryl Ester Storage Disease: Fatal Outcome without Causal Therapy in a Female Patient with the Preventable Sequelae of Progressive Liver Disease after Many Years of Mild Symptoms

Ali Canbay, Meike N. Müller, Stathis Philippou, Guido Gerken, Andreas Tromm

(Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Infectiology, Otto-von-Guericke University Hospital Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany)

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:577-581

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.907755

BACKGROUND: Cholesteryl ester storage disease (CESD), also known as lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D), is a rare autosomal-recessive inheritable lysosomal storage disease. Since 2015, a causal treatment with sebelipase alfa, which replaces the missing LAL enzyme, has been approved. We report a fatal course of LAL-D in a female patient.
CASE REPORT: In 1979, CESD was first diagnosed in a 13-year-old female with marked hepatomegaly. At that time, no specific treatment for CESD was available and the spontaneous course of the disease had to be awaited. In 2013, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy for symptomatic gallstones was performed. The patient’s CESD had caused a Child-Pugh A/B and Lab-MELD 14 cirrhosis with esophageal varices (grade III), a solitary fundal varix, as well as hepatosplenomegaly with thrombocytopenia. In 2016, the patient was admitted with compensated cirrhosis and splenomegaly for a ligature of esophageal varices which was complicated by vomiting of blood followed by severe coagulopathy and hemorrhagic shock. The dried blood test showed reduced acid lipase (0.03 nmol/spot*3 hours; reference range 0.2–2) and beta-galactosidase (0.08 nmol/spot*21 hours; reference range 0.5–3.2). Then 15 days after the esophageal varices bleed, the patient died due to multiorgan failure as a sequelae of advanced liver disease.
CONCLUSIONS: LAL-D should be included in the differential diagnosis of lipid metabolism disorder, hepatomegaly, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with fibrosis or cirrhosis. Causal treatment with sebelipase alfa should be introduced even in patients who have LAL-D and many years of clinically mild symptoms of this disease to prevent the serious sequelae of cirrhosis or cardiovascular complications.

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