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Ploeg, Ans van der; Carlier, Pierre G.; Carlier, Robert-Yves; Kissel, John T.; Schoser, Benedikt; Wenninger, Stephan; Pestronk, Alan; Barohn, Richard J.; Dimachkie, Mazen M.; Goker-Alpan, Ozlem; Mozaffar, Tahseen; Pena, Loren D. M.; Simmons, Zachary; Straub, Volker; Guglieri, Michela; Young, Peter; Boentert, Matthias; Baudin, Pierre-Yves; Wens, Stephan; Shafi, Raheel; Bjartmar, Carl; Thurberg, Beth L. (2016): Prospective exploratory muscle biopsy, imaging, and functional assessment in patients with late-onset Pompe disease treated with alglucosidase alfa: The EMBASSY Study. In: Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, Vol. 119, No. 1-2: pp. 115-123
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Background: Late-onset Pompe disease is characterized by progressive skeletal myopathy followed by respiratory muscle weakness, typically leading to loss of ambulation and respiratory failure. In this population, enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with alglucosidase alfa has been shown to stabilize respiratory function and improve mobility and muscle strength. Muscle pathology and glycogen clearance from skeletal muscle in treatment-naive adults after ERT have not been extensively examined. Methods: This exploratory, open-label, multicenter study evaluated glycogen clearance in muscle tissue samples collected pre- and post- alglucosidase alfa treatment in treatment-naive adults with late-onset Pompe disease. The primary endpoint was the quantitative reduction in percent tissue area occupied by glycogen in muscle biopsies from baseline to 6 months. Secondary endpoints included qualitative histologic assessment of tissue glycogen distribution, secondary pathology changes, assessment of magnetic resonance images (MRIs) for intact muscle and fatty replacement, and functional assessments. Results: Sixteen patients completed the study. After 6 months of ERT, the percent tissue area occupied by glycogen in quadriceps and deltoid muscles decreased in 10 and 8 patients, respectively. No changes were detected on MRI from baseline to 6 months. A majority of patients showed improvements on functional assessments after 6 months of treatment. All treatment-related adverse events were mild or moderate. Conclusions: This exploratory study provides novel insights into the histopathologic effects of ERT in late-onset Pompe disease patients. Ultrastructural examination of muscle biopsies demonstrated reduced lysosomal glycogen after ERT. Findings are consistent with stabilization of disease by ERT in treatment-naive patients with late onset Pompe disease. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by ELSEVIER.