Test Code: 3038

Fabry Disease: GLA Gene Sequencing
Test Code: 3038
Turnaround time: 5 weeks


Fabry disease is an X-linked condition caused by a deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A enzyme activity. Affected individuals are unable to metabolize globotriaosylceramide (GL-3) in their lysosomes. The progressive accumulation of GL-3 results in symptoms that include: characteristic lysosomal disease skin rashes (angiokeratomas), decreased sweating (hypohidrosis), chronic fatigue, depression, neuropathic pain in the hands and feet (acroparesthesia), gastrointestinal issues, strokes, cardiac disease (including left ventricular hypertrophy), and renal disease (proteinuria to end stage renal disease). The diagnosis of Fabry disease has increased in importance since treatment with enzyme replacement therapy is now available.

Fabry disease affects both men (hemizygotes) and women (heterozygotes), however, the testing strategy varies based on gender. Alpha galactosidase A enzyme analysis alone will detect nearly all affected males and approximately 60% of heterozygous females with Fabry disease. Combining enzyme analysis with sequencing of the alpha galactosidase A gene increases the speed and reliability of testing females for Fabry disease. Alpha galactosidase A enzyme analysis can be performed on samples concurrently with gene sequencing. Sequencing is available for males with a biochemical diagnosis of Fabry.

Mutations to the GLA gene, located at Xq22, result in a deficiency of the enzyme alpha-galactosidase A. Most mutations are familial, however, a few de novo mutations have been reported.

For patients with mutations not identified by full gene sequencing, a separate deletion/duplication assay is available using a targeted CGH array (test code: 3444).


This test is indicated for:

  • Patients with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of Fabry disease
  • Family members of a person diagnosed with Fabry disease


The 7 exons and flanking regions of the GLA gene are amplified by PCR and sequenced in both the forward and reverse directions. Patient gene sequences are compared to a normal reference sequence. Sequence variations are then classified as previously described mutations, novel mutations, or variations of unknown significance. This analysis may detect novel variants of unclear effect, which may require further studies.


This assay will detect over 99% of the sequence variants in the coding region and splice junctions. Mutations in the promoter region, some mutations in the introns, and other regulatory elements cannot be detected by this analysis. Large deletion and insertion mutations will not be detected by this assay. It is possible that some patients with a typical presentation may not carry a mutation detected by this analysis. Results of molecular analysis should be interpreted in the context of the patient’s biochemical phenotype. Results of molecular analysis must interpreted in the context of the patient’s clinical and/or biochemical phenotype.


Submit only 1 of the following specimen types
* Preferred specimen type: Whole Blood

Type: Whole Blood
Specimen Requirements:
In EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube: Infants (2 years): 3-5 ml
Older Children & Adults: 5-10 ml

Specimen Collection and Shipping: Refrigerate until time of shipment. Ship sample within 5 days of collection at room temperature with overnight delivery.

Type: Saliva
Specimen Requirements:
OrageneTM Saliva Collection kit (available through CEN4GEN) used according to manufacturer instructions.

Specimen Collection and Shipping: Store sample at room temperature. Ship sample within 5 days of collection at room temperature with overnight delivery.

Submit copies of diagnostic biochemical test results with the sample. Sequence analysis is required before deletion/duplication analysis by targeted CGH array. If sequencing is performed by another third party provider, please submit a copy of the sequencing report with the test requisition.


  • Custom diagnostic mutation analysis (test code: 6875) is available to family members if mutations are identified by sequencing.
  • A deletion/duplication assay is available separately for individuals where mutations are not identified by sequence analysis. Refer to the test requisition or contact the laboratory for more information.