Frequency and burden of gastrointestinal symptoms in familial dysautonomia

Chethan Ramprasad, Lucy Norcliffe-Kaufmann, Jose Alberto Palma, Joseph Levy, Yian Zhang, Christy L. Spalink, Abraham Khan, Scott Smukalla, Horacio Kaufmann, Lea Ann Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Familial dysautonomia (FD) is a rare hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy (HSAN-3) that is clinically characterized by impaired pain and temperature perception and abnormal autonomic function. Patients with FD have gastrointestinal dysmotility and report a range of gastrointestinal symptoms that have yet to be systematically evaluated. The aim of this study was to establish the frequency and severity of gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with FD. Methods: The validated National Institutes of Health Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) survey questionnaire, together with additional FD-specific questions, were distributed to 202 living patients with genetically confirmed FD who had been identified from the New York University FD Patient Registry or, when relevant, to their respective caretaker. As a comparison group, we used a general US adult population for whom PROMIS scores were available (N = 71,812). Results: Of the 202 questionnaires distributed, 77 (38%) were returned, of which 53% were completed by the patient. Median age of the respondents was 25 years, and 44% were male. Gastrostomy tube was the sole nutrition route for 25% of the patients, while 53% were reliant on the gastrostomy tube only for liquid intake. The prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms was significantly higher in each of the eight domains of PROMIS in patients with FD than in the controls. Gastrointestinal symptoms as measured by raw scores on the PROMIS scale were significantly less severe in the FD patient group than in the control population in all domains with the exception of the abdominal pain domain. The surveys completed by caregivers reported the same burden of symptoms as those completed only by patients. Conclusion: Gastrointestinal symptoms affect nearly all patients with FD. Gastrointestinal symptoms are more prevalent in adult patients with FD than in the average US adult population but are less severe in the former.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autonomic
  • Motility
  • Neurogastroenterology
  • Patient reported outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology

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