Pompe disease is an inherited lysosomal storage disorder caused by acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA) enzyme deficiency, resulting in muscle and neuron intralysosomal glycogen storage. Clinical symptoms vary from the severe, infantile-onset form with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, gross motor delay, and early death from respiratory insufficiency; to a late-onset form with variable onset of proximal muscle weakness and progressive respiratory insufficiency. Newborn screening programs have been instituted to presymptomatically identify neonates with infantile-onset Pompe disease for early initiation of treatment. However, infants with late-onset Pompe disease are also identified, leaving families and physicians in a state of uncertainty regarding prognosis, necessity, and timing of treatment initiation. This report presents a 31 5/7 weeks’ gestational age premature infant flagged positive for Pompe disease with low dried blood spot GAA activity; sequencing identified biparental c.-32-13T>G/c.29delA GAA
variants predicting late-onset Pompe disease. The infant’s parents’ initial reactions to the positive newborn screen, subsequent experience during confirmatory testing, and post-confirmation reflections are also reported. While uncertainties regarding natural history and prognosis of presymptomatically-identified late-onset Pompe disease infants will be elucidated with additional experience, suggestions for education of first-line providers are provided to accurately communicate results and compassionately counsel families regarding anxiety-provoking positive newborn screen results.
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