Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association vol:17 issue:10 pages:1766-70
BACKGROUND: Cystinosis is a rare autosomal recessive disease, caused by intracellular cystine accumulation due to a defect in the lysosomal cystine carrier. Treatment with cysteamine favours the transport of cystine out of the lysosomes, diminishes organ damage, and postpones the progression of renal failure. The extra-renal deposition of cystine continues after renal transplantation, leading to later complications. The objective of this study was to evaluate the follow-up, the occurrence of late complications, the social status, and the adequacy of cysteamine treatment in adult patients with cystinosis. METHODS: The medical histories of 10 adult cystinosis patients aged 19-36 years were studied. The impairment of thyroid function, central nervous system, endocrine pancreas, and ocular manifestations, as well as treatment with cysteamine were evaluated. RESULTS: Eight patients received in total 12 renal grafts, one patient was dialysed and one received conservative treatment for chronic renal failure. Extra-renal complications were noted in six patients, loss of visual acuity in four, hypothyroidism in three, diabetes mellitus in one, cerebral atrophy and epilepsy in one, and swallowing difficulties in two patients. Ophthalmic control was not performed in two patients, thyroid function was not controlled in two and glycaemia not controlled in two patients. Seven patients received 2100-4000 mg cysteamine per day in 2 (n=2), 3 (n=1), 4 (n=3), or 6 (n=1) doses. Cystine concentration in leukocytes was measured once or twice a year in eight patients and was within the recommended range only in three patients. CONCLUSION: A high rate of extra-renal complications in adults with nephropathic cystinosis was found. Optimizing the cysteamine therapy may attenuate these complications. Better communication between paediatric and 'adult's' nephrologists is needed to improve follow-up and treatment of grown-up cystinosis patients.