Novel Missense LCAT Gene Mutation Associated with an Atypical Phenotype of Familial LCAT Deficiency in Two Portuguese Brothers
Castro-Ferreira I and al. JIMD Rep; 2018;40:55-62.
Familial lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency (FLD) is a rare recessive disorder of cholesterol metabolism, caused by loss-of-function mutations in the human LCAT gene, leading to alterations in the lipid/lipoprotein profile, with extremely low HDL levels.The classical FLD phenotype is characterized by diffuse corneal opacification, haemolytic anaemia and proteinuric chronic kidney disease (CKD); an incomplete form, only affecting the corneas, has been reported in a few families worldwide.We describe an intermediate phenotype of LCAT deficiency, with CKD preceding the development of corneal clouding, in two Portuguese brothers apparently homozygous for a novel missense LCAT gene mutation. The atypical phenotype, the diagnosis of membranous nephropathy in the proband’s native kidney biopsy, the late-onset and delayed recognition of the corneal opacification, the co-segregation with Gilbert syndrome and the late recurrence of the primary disease in kidney allograft all contributed to obscure the diagnosis of an LCAT deficiency syndrome for many years.A major teaching point is that on standard light microscopy examination the kidney biopsies of patients with LCAT deficiency with residual enzyme activity may not show significant vacuolization and may be misdiagnosed as membranous nephropathy. The cases of these two patients also illustrate the importance of performing detailed physical examination in young adults presenting with proteinuric CKD, as the most important clue to the diagnosis of FLD is in the eyes.
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