Phenoage and longitudinal changes on transthoracic echocardiography in Alström syndrome: a disease of accelerated ageing?
Patel L., Roy A., Alvior AMB., Yuan M., Baig S., Bunting KV., Hodson J., Gehmlich K., Lord JM., Geberhiwot T., Steeds RP.
Alström syndrome (AS) is an ultra-rare disorder characterised by early-onset multi-organ dysfunction, such as insulin resistance, obesity, dyslipidaemia, and renal and cardiovascular disease. The objective is to explore whether AS is a disease of accelerated ageing and whether changes over time on echocardiography could reflect accelerated cardiac ageing. Cross-sectional measurement of Phenoage and retrospective analysis of serial echocardiography were performed between March 2012 and November 2022. The setting is a single national tertiary service jointly run by health service and patient charity. Forty-five adult patients aged over 16 years were included, 64% were male and 67% of White ethnicity. The median Phenoage was 48 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 35-72) in the 34 patients for whom this was calculable, which was significantly higher than the median chronological age of 29 years (IQR: 22-39, p<0.001). Phenoage was higher than chronological age in 85% (N=29) of patients, with a median difference of +18 years (IQR: +4, +34). On echocardiography, significant decreases were observed over time in left ventricular (LV) size at end-diastole (average of 0.046 cm per year, p<0.001) and end-systole (1.1% per year, p=0.025), with significant increase in posterior wall thickness at end-diastole (0.009 cm per year, p=0.008). LV systolic function measured by global longitudinal strain reduced (0.34 percentage points per year, p=0.020) and E/e'lat increased (2.5% per year, p=0.019). Most AS patients display a higher Phenoage compared to chronological age. Cardiac changes in AS patients were also reflective of accelerated ageing, with a reduction in LV size and increased wall thickening. AS may be a paradigm disease for premature ageing.