... Bennett DL, Wood JN, Kinali M. Novel mutations mapping to the fourth sodium channel domain of Nav1. ... and late-onset inherited erythromelalgia: genotype-phenotype correlation. Brain. 2009 Jul;132(Pt 7):1711-22. doi: ...
Miranda, S; Le Besnerais, M; Langlois, V; Benhamou, Y; Lévesque, H
Erythromelalgia is a rare intermittent vascular acrosyndrome characterized by the combination of recurrent burning pain, warmth and redness of the extremities. It is considered in its primary form as an autosomal dominant neuropathy related to mutations of SCN9A, the encoding gene of a voltage-gated sodium channel subtype Nav1.7. Secondary erythromelalgia is associated with myeloproliferative disorders, drugs (bromocriptine, calcium channel blockers), or clinical conditions such as rheumatic diseases or viral infection. Primary familial erythromelalgia include genetics and sporadic forms associated with small fibers neuropathy. Aspirin is a useful treatment of erythromelagia associated with myeloproliferative disorders. Treatment of primary erythromelalgia is difficult, individualized, with sodium channel blockers such as lidocaine, carbamazepine and mexiletine.
Tang, Zhaoli; Chen, Zhao; Tang, Beisha; Jiang, Hong
Primary erythromelalgia (PE ORPHA90026) is a rare autosomal dominant neuropathy characterized by the combination of recurrent burning pain, warmth and redness of the extremities. The incidence rate of PE ranges from 0.36 to 1.1 per 100,000 persons. Gender ratio differs according to different studies and no evidence showed a gender preference. Clinical onset of PE is often in the first decade of life. Burning pain is the most predominant symptom and is usually caused and precipitated by warmth and physical activities. Reported cases of PE contain both inherited and sporadic forms. Genetic etiology of PE is mutations on SCN9A, the encoding gene of a voltage-gated sodium channel subtype Nav1.7. Diagnosis of PE is made upon clinical manifestations and screening for mutations on SCN9A. Exclusion of several other treatable diseases/secondary erythromelalgia is also necessary because of the lack of biomarkers specifically for PE. Differential diagnoses can include Fabry disease, cellulites, Raynaud phenomenon, vasculitis and so on. Diagnostic methods often involve complete blood count, imaging studies and thermograph. Treatment for PE is unsatisfactory and highly individualized. Frequently used pain relieving drugs involve sodium channel blockers such as lidocaine, carbamazepine and mexiletine. Novel drugs such as PF-05089771 and TV-45070 could be promising in ameliorating pain symptoms due to their Nav1.7 selectivity. Patients' symptoms often worsen over time and many patients develop ulcerations and gangrenes caused by excessive exposure to low temperature in order to relieve pain. This review mainly focuses on PE and the causative gene SCN9A--its mutations and their effects on Nav1.7 channels' electrophysiological properties. We propose a genotype-channelopathy-phenotype correlation network underlying PE etiology which could provide guidance for future therapeutics.
Erythromelalgia (EM) is a rare condition of unknown etiology that results in intense, burning pain and redness primarily of the feet, and, even more rarely, in the hands. Most cases are idiopathic (primary EM); others occur secondary to medical conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, and neurological or hematological disorders. Symptoms are episodic and can result in severe disability. Triggers, such as exposure to warmth, pressure or exercise, become apparent to those afflicted with this condition; however, triggers may be unavoidable during the course of daily living. There are no diagnostic tests for EM. Diagnosis is based on history, physical examination during symptomatic episode and the exclusion of other probable causes for the syndrome. Early recognition of the signs and symptoms as well as early treatment offer patients the best hope of remissions and improved quality of life.
Russo, Rosario; Caroleo, Maria Cristina; Cione, Erika; Perri, Mariarita; Paparo, Maria Teresa; Russo, Antonio
Erythromelalgia (EM) is a rare disabling clinical syndrome more commonly known to affect the lower extremities. There is no single effective treatment for this disease that often requires a multidisciplinary approach. Herein, we report the case of a 31-year-old woman affected by primary erythromelalgia who was successfully treated with intrathecal Ziconotide. We also observed an unexpected result following therapy with Ziconotide. The legs and feet of the patient that at the time of admission were swollen and tumefied dramatically improved after one week of the drug administration.
Russo, Rosario; Caroleo, Maria Cristina; Cione, Erika; Perri, Mariarita; Paparo, Maria Teresa; Russo, Antonio
Erythromelalgia (EM) is a rare disabling clinical syndrome more commonly known to affect the lower extremities. There is no single effective treatment for this disease that often requires a multidisciplinary approach. Herein, we report the case of a 31-year-old woman affected by primary erythromelalgia who was successfully treated with intrathecal Ziconotide. We also observed an unexpected result following therapy with Ziconotide. The legs and feet of the patient that at the time of admission were swollen and tumefied dramatically improved after one week of the drug administration. PMID:26609309
Kim, Min-Kyeong; Yuk, Ji-Won; Kim, Hyang-Sook; Park, Ki-Jong; Kim, Dae-Seong
Primary erythromelalgia (EM) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations of SCN9A. It is clinically characterized by reddish discoloration and episodic burning sensation of distal extremities triggered by warmth. We report a 49-year-old male with primary EM caused by SCN9A mutation (p.F216S), in whom an autonomic reflex screening test revealed a mild sudomotor dysfunction.
Chuquilin, Miguel; Dhand, Upinder K
Erythromelalgia may be primary or secondary to an underlying medical condition. Association with small fiber neuropathy and axonal large fiber peripheral neuropathy has been described. Erythromelalgia in the setting of acquired demyelinating neuropathy has not been reported. We report a 52-year-old woman with severe erythromelalgia, pain and burning, progressive weakness, hyporeflexia and distal pan-sensory deficits. Cerebrospinal fluid protein was 219 mg/dL. Nerve conduction study revealed extreme (ten-fold) prolongation of distal motor latencies, markedly slow motor nerve conduction, reduced terminal latency index, reduced distal compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude, possible conduction blocks, and distal denervation. Treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin, prednisone and azathioprine resulted in marked clinical and electrophysiological improvement. Our patient fulfills the diagnostic criteria for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP); however, the unique electrodiagnostic features and presentation with erythromelalgia may represent a CIDP variant or a novel dysimmune neuropathy, or may partly be related to neurotoxic effects of prior alcohol abuse.
Raynauds syndrome, acrocyanosis and erythromelalgia are functional vascular diseases that differ with respect to prevalence, clinical picture, therapy, prognosis, and impairment of quality of life. Raynauds syndrome occurs in 5 to 20 % of the population in Europe, is observed four times more often in women than in men and appears first at the age of 40 (3 to 80), on the average. Raynauds attacks are characterized by a paroxysmal white-blue-red or just white and blue discoloration of the fingers and toes; the attacks are induced by cold or stress, usually, cease after no more than some minutes (average 23 min.), but can also persist for hours. A distinction must be made between primary (aetiology unknown), secondary (aetiology known) and suspected secondary Raynauds syndromes (causal underlying disease suspected). There are several different therapy options, but not all of them have been substantiated by evidence. Acrocyanosis is rarer than Raynauds syndrome, and contrary to the latter, is characterized by nonparoxysmal, in most cases persistent, painless bluish-red symmetrical discolorations of the hands, feet and knees. It is more frequent in women than in men and becomes manifest before the 25th year of age, on the average (15th to 70th year of age). A distinction is made between primary acrocyanosis without detectable underlying disease and secondary acrocyanosis with a specific underlying disease. No effective therapy for primary acrocyanosis is known, but secondary forms can sometimes be treated. Patients with primary and secondary erythromelalgia, a very rare condition, sustain paroxysmal burning pain with marked reddening of the legs, feet and less often the hands. The attacks are triggered by warmth. Women are affected more often than men. The age of first manifestation is 40 to 55 years, but the first attacks may just as well occur during childhood. There are different therapeutic approaches with occasional success, but no general recommendations.
Skeik, Nedaa; Rooke, Thom W; Davis, Mark Denis P; Davis, Dawn Marie R; Kalsi, Henna; Kurth, Ingo; Richardson, Randal C
Erythromelalgia is a rare clinical syndrome characterized by intermittent heat, redness, swelling and pain more commonly affecting the lower extremities. Symptoms are mostly aggravated by warmth and are eased by a cold temperature. In some cases, symptoms can be very severe and disabling. Erythromelalgia can be classified as either familial or sporadic, with the familial form inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Recently, there has been a lot of progress in studying Na(v)1.7 sodium channels (expressed mostly in the sympathetic and nociceptive small-diameter sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglion) and different mutations affecting the encoding SCN9A gene that leads to channelopathies responsible for some disorders, including primary erythromelalgia. We present a severe case of progressive primary erythromelalgia caused by a new de novo heterozygous missense mutation (c.2623C>G) of the SCN9A gene which substitutes glutamine 875 by glutamic acid (p.Q875E). To our knowledge, this mutation has not been previously reported in the literature. We also provided a short literature review about erythromelalgia and Na(v) sodium channelopathies.
Prabhu, Neeta; Alexander, Sherene; Wong, Peter; Cameron, Angus
Erythromelalgia is an extremely rare neurovascular disorder, characterized by symptoms of red, hot, and painful extremities. There is considerable confusion regarding the etiology and pathogenesis of this condition, and the diagnosis is essentially a clinical one. This condition may occur in isolation or in association with other myeloproliferative disorders. Unfortunately, no therapy is effective consistently in managing the symptoms, although early diagnosis can aid in psychological counseling and minimizing the frequency and severity of the attacks. The purpose of this report was to describe the case of a child presenting with premature loss of primary teeth and the difficulties in determining the final diagnosis of erythromelalgia, which responded positively to low-grade aspirin therapy.
Neacsu, Cristian; Eberhardt, Esther; Schmidt, Roland; Lunden, Lars Kristian; Ørstavik, Kristin; Kaluza, Luisa; Meents, Jannis; Zhang, Zhiping; Carr, Thomas Hedley; Salter, Hugh; Malinowsky, David; Wollberg, Patrik; Krupp, Johannes; Kleggetveit, Inge Petter; Schmelz, Martin; Jørum, Ellen; Namer, Barbara
Gain-of-function mutations in the tetrodotoxin (TTX) sensitive voltage-gated sodium channel (Nav) Nav1.7 have been identified as a key mechanism underlying chronic pain in inherited erythromelalgia. Mutations in TTX resistant channels, such as Nav1.8 or Nav1.9, were recently connected with inherited chronic pain syndromes. Here, we investigated the effects of the p.M650K mutation in Nav1.8 in a 53 year old patient with erythromelalgia by microneurography and patch-clamp techniques. Recordings of the patient’s peripheral nerve fibers showed increased activity dependent slowing (ADS) in CMi and less spontaneous firing compared to a control group of erythromelalgia patients without Nav mutations. To evaluate the impact of the p.M650K mutation on neuronal firing and channel gating, we performed current and voltage-clamp recordings on transfected sensory neurons (DRGs) and neuroblastoma cells. The p.M650K mutation shifted steady-state fast inactivation of Nav1.8 to more hyperpolarized potentials and did not significantly alter any other tested gating behaviors. The AP half-width was significantly broader and the stimulated action potential firing rate was reduced for M650K transfected DRGs compared to WT. We discuss the potential link between enhanced steady state fast inactivation, broader action potential width and the potential physiological consequences. PMID:27598514
Sheets, Patrick L; Jackson, James O; Waxman, Stephen G; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Cummins, Theodore R
Mutations in the TTX-sensitive voltage-gated sodium channel subtype Nav1.7 have been implicated in the painful inherited neuropathy, hereditary erythromelalgia. Hereditary erythromelalgia can be difficult to treat and, although sodium channels are targeted by local anaesthetics such as lidocaine (lignocaine), some patients do not respond to treatment with local anaesthetics. This study examined electrophysiological differences in Nav1.7 caused by a hereditary erythromelalgia mutation (N395K) that lies within the local anaesthetic binding site of the channel. The N395K mutation produced a hyperpolarized voltage dependence of activation, slower kinetics of deactivation, and impaired steady-state slow inactivation. Computer simulations indicate that the shift in activation is the major determinant of the hyperexcitability induced by erythromelalgia mutations in sensory neurons, but that changes in slow inactivation can modulate the overall impact on excitability. This study also investigated lidocaine inhibition of the Nav1.7-N395K channel. We show that the N395K mutation attenuates the inhibitory effects of lidocaine on both resting and inactivated Nav1.7. The IC50 for lidocaine was estimated at 500 microM for inactivated wild-type Nav1.7 and 2.8 mM for inactivated Nav1.7-N395K. The N395K mutation also significantly reduced use-dependent inhibition of lidocaine on Nav1.7 current. In contrast, a different hereditary erythromelalgia mutation (F216S), not located in the local anaesthetic binding site, had no effect on lidocaine inhibition of Nav1.7 current. Our observation of reduced lidocaine inhibition on Nav1.7-N395K shows that the residue N395 is critical for lidocaine binding to Nav1.7 and suggests that the response of individuals with hereditary erythromelalgia to lidocaine treatment may be determined, at least in part, by their specific genotype.
McDonnell, Aoibhinn; Schulman, Betsy; Ali, Zahid; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Brock, Fiona; Cobain, Sonia; Mainka, Tina; Vollert, Jan; Tarabar, Sanela; Waxman, Stephen G
Inherited erythromelalgia, the first human pain syndrome linked to voltage-gated sodium channels, is widely regarded as a genetic model of human pain. Because inherited erythromelalgia was linked to gain-of-function changes of sodium channel Na(v)1.7 only a decade ago, the literature has mainly consisted of reports of genetic and/or clinical characterization of individual patients. This paper describes the pattern of pain, natural history, somatosensory profile, psychosocial status and olfactory testing of 13 subjects with primary inherited erythromelalgia with mutations of SCN9A, the gene encoding Na(v)1.7. Subjects were clinically profiled using questionnaires, quantitative sensory testing and olfaction testing during the in-clinic phase of the study. In addition, a detailed pain phenotype for each subject was obtained over a 3-month period at home using diaries, enabling subjects to self-report pain attacks, potential triggers, duration and severity of pain. All subjects reported pain and heat in the extremities (usually feet and/or hands), with pain attacks triggered by heat or exercise and relieved mainly by non-pharmacological manoeuvres such as cooling. A large proportion of pain attacks (355/1099; 32%) did not involve a specific trigger. There was considerable variability in the number, duration and severity of pain attacks between subjects, even those carrying the same mutation within a family, and within individuals over the 12-13 week observation period. Most subjects (11/13) had pain between attacks. For these subjects, mean pain severity between pain attacks was usually lower than that during an attack. Olfaction testing using the Sniffin'T test did not demonstrate hyperosmia. One subject had evidence of orthostatic hypotension. Overall, there was a statistically significant correlation between total Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores (P= 0.005) and pain between attacks and for Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale Depression scores and pain
Kundu, Anjana; Rafiq, Mahmood; Warren, Patrick S; Tobias, Joseph D
Erythromelalgia (EM) is an uncommon condition characterized by erythema, increased skin temperature, and burning pain, most frequently occurring in the lower extremities. The pain is generally very severe and treatment can be extremely challenging, especially in the pediatric and adolescent population. We report a series of three cases of primary EM in pediatric patients involving the lower extremities, refractory to medical treatment that responded favorably to computed-tomography-guided lumbar sympathetic blockade. There was a significant improvement in pain scores, quality of life, and overall function as well as decreased analgesic requirements. Lumbar sympathetic blockade should be considered as a therapeutic modality in pediatric and adolescent patients with EM who are refractory to other treatments. PMID:27799815
Mendez-Rios, Jorge D.; Martens, Craig A.; Bruno, Daniel P.; Porcella, Stephen F.; Zheng, Zhi-Ming; Moss, Bernard
Erythromelagia is a condition characterized by attacks of burning pain and inflammation in the extremeties. An epidemic form of this syndrome occurs in secondary students in rural China and a virus referred to as erythromelalgia-associated poxvirus (ERPV) was reported to have been recovered from throat swabs in 1987. Studies performed at the time suggested that ERPV belongs to the orthopoxvirus genus and has similarities with ectromelia virus, the causative agent of mousepox. We have determined the complete genome sequence of ERPV and demonstrated that it has 99.8% identity to the Naval strain of ectromelia virus and a slighly lower identity to the Moscow strain. Small DNA deletions in the Naval genome that are absent from ERPV may suggest that the sequenced strain of Naval was not the immediate progenitor of ERPV. PMID:22558090
Mendez-Rios, Jorge D; Martens, Craig A; Bruno, Daniel P; Porcella, Stephen F; Zheng, Zhi-Ming; Moss, Bernard
Erythromelagia is a condition characterized by attacks of burning pain and inflammation in the extremeties. An epidemic form of this syndrome occurs in secondary students in rural China and a virus referred to as erythromelalgia-associated poxvirus (ERPV) was reported to have been recovered from throat swabs in 1987. Studies performed at the time suggested that ERPV belongs to the orthopoxvirus genus and has similarities with ectromelia virus, the causative agent of mousepox. We have determined the complete genome sequence of ERPV and demonstrated that it has 99.8% identity to the Naval strain of ectromelia virus and a slighly lower identity to the Moscow strain. Small DNA deletions in the Naval genome that are absent from ERPV may suggest that the sequenced strain of Naval was not the immediate progenitor of ERPV.
Kim, David Ta; Rossignol, Elsa; Najem, Kinda; Ospina, Luis H
The SCN9A gene codes for the sodium voltage-gated channel NaV 1.7. Gain of function mutations cause pain disorders such as primary erythromelalgia, paroxysmal extreme pain disorder, and small fiber neuropathy. Loss of function mutations lead to congenital insensitivity to pain. We report the case of a 6-year-old girl with a SCN9A mutation who presented with both gain of function and loss of function phenotypes, including congenital corneal anesthesia.
Liu, Tao; Zhang, Yonghui; Lin, Hualiang; Lv, Xiaojuan; Xiao, Jianpeng; Zeng, Weilin; Gu, Yuzhou; Rutherford, Shannon; Tong, Shilu; Ma, Wenjun
Although erythromelalgia (EM) has been documented in the literature for almost 150 years, it is still poorly understood. To overcome this limitation, we examined the spatial distribution of epidemic EM, and explored the association between temperature fluctuation and epidemic EM outbreaks in China. We searched all peer-reviewed literature on primary epidemic EM outbreaks in China. A two-stage model was used to characterize the relationship between temperature fluctuation and epidemic EM outbreaks. We observed that epidemic EM outbreaks were reported from 13 provinces during 1960-2014 and they mainly occurred between February and March in southern China. The majority of EM cases were middle school students, with a higher incidence rate in female and resident students. The major clinical characteristics of EM cases included burning, sharp, tingling and/or stinging pain in toes, soles and/or dorsum of feet, fever, erythema and swelling. A large ``V''-shaped fluctuation of daily average temperature (TM) observed during the epidemic EM outbreaks was significantly associated with the number of daily EM cases (β = 1.22, 95%CI: 0.66 ~ 1.79), which indicated that this ``V''-shaped fluctuation of TM probably triggered the epidemic EM outbreaks.
Stadler, Theresa; O'Reilly, Andrias O; Lampert, Angelika
The human voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7 plays a crucial role in transmission of noxious stimuli. The inherited pain disorder erythromelalgia (IEM) has been linked to Nav1.7 gain-of-function mutations. Here we show that the IEM-associated Q875E mutation located on the pore module of Nav1.7 produces a large hyperpolarizing shift (-18 mV) in the voltage dependence of activation. Three-dimensional homology modeling indicates that the side chains of Gln-875 and the gating charge Arg-214 of the domain I voltage sensor are spatially close in the activated conformation of the channel. We verified this proximity by using an engineered disulfide bridge approach. The Q875E mutation introduces a negative charge that may modify the local electrical field experienced by the voltage sensor and, upon activation, interact directly via a salt bridge with the Arg-214 gating charge residue. Together these processes could promote transition to, and stabilization of, the domain I voltage sensor in the activated conformation and thus produce the observed gain of function. In support of this hypothesis, an increase in the extracellular concentration of Ca(2+) or Mg(2+) reverted the voltage dependence of activation of the IEM mutant to near WT values, suggesting a cation-mediated electrostatic screening of the proposed interaction between Q875E and Arg-214.
Gu, Yuzhou; Chen, Fengling; Liu, Tao; Lv, Xiaojuan; Shao, Zhaoming; Lin, Hualiang; Liang, Chaobin; Zeng, Weilin; Xiao, Jianpeng; Zhang, Yonghui; Huang, Cunrui; Rutherford, Shannon; Ma, Wenjun
Dozens of epidemic erythromelalgia (EM) outbreaks have been reported in China since the mid-twentieth century, and the most recent happened in Foshan City, Guangdong Province early 2014. This study compared the daily case counts of this recent epidemic EM outbreak from February 11 to March 3 with Baidu search data for the same period. After keyword selection, filtering and composition, the most correlated lag of the EM Search Index was used for comparison and linear regression model development. This study also explored the spatial distribution of epidemic EM in China during this period based on EM Search Index. The EM Search Index at lag 2 was most significantly associated with daily case counts in Foshan (ρ = 0.863, P < 0.001). It captured an upward trend in the outbreak about one week ahead of official report and the linear regression analysis indicated that every 1.071 increase in the EM Search Index reflected a rise of 1 EM cases 2 days earlier. The spatial analysis found that the number of EM Search Indexes increased in the middle of Guangdong Province and South China during the outbreak period. The EM Search Index may be a good early indicator of an epidemic EM outbreak. PMID:26218589
Jakob, A; Creutzfeldt, R; Staszewski, O; Winterpacht, A; Berner, R; Hufnagel, M
Erythromelalgia is a rare disorder characterized by recurrent pain attacks, swelling and redness in the distal extremities. The primary forms of the disorder are caused by mutations in voltage-gated sodium channels. Treatment is difficult and controlled therapeutic studies offer little to no guidance. We report on a 12-year-old boy and his first occurrence of primary erythromelalgia. Genetic findings for mutations in the SCN9A gene, which encodes for the α-subunit of sodium channel NaV1.7, were negative. Although initial treatment with sodium nitroprusside was ineffective, subsequent medication with lidocaine and mexiletine, in combination with gabapentin, was successful. Despite negative findings for mutations in the sodium channels, the use of sodium channel blockers should be considered in these patients.
Segerdahl, Andrew R; Xie, Jingyi; Paterson, Kathryn; Ramirez, Juan D; Tracey, Irene; Bennett, David L H
We identified a patient with severe inherited erythromelalgia secondary to an L858F mutation in the voltage-gated sodium channel Na(v)1.7. The patient reported severe ongoing foot pain, which was exquisitely sensitive to limb cooling. We confirmed this heat hypersensitivity using quantitative sensory testing. Additionally, we employed a novel perfusion imaging technique in a simple block design to assess her baseline erythromelalgia pain vs cooling relief. Robust activations of key pain, pain-affect, and reward-related centres were observed. This combined approach allowed us to confirm the presence of a temperature-sensitive channelopathy of peripheral neurons and to investigate the neural correlates of tonic neuropathic pain and relief in a single subject.
Cao, Lishuang; McDonnell, Aoibhinn; Nitzsche, Anja; Alexandrou, Aristos; Saintot, Pierre-Philippe; Loucif, Alexandre J C; Brown, Adam R; Young, Gareth; Mis, Malgorzata; Randall, Andrew; Waxman, Stephen G; Stanley, Philip; Kirby, Simon; Tarabar, Sanela; Gutteridge, Alex; Butt, Richard; McKernan, Ruth M; Whiting, Paul; Ali, Zahid; Bilsland, James; Stevens, Edward B
In common with other chronic pain conditions, there is an unmet clinical need in the treatment of inherited erythromelalgia (IEM). TheSCN9Agene encoding the sodium channel Nav1.7 expressed in the peripheral nervous system plays a critical role in IEM. A gain-of-function mutation in this sodium channel leads to aberrant sensory neuronal activity and extreme pain, particularly in response to heat. Five patients with IEM were treated with a new potent and selective compound that blocked the Nav1.7 sodium channel resulting in a decrease in heat-induced pain in most of the patients. We derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from four of five subjects and produced sensory neurons that emulated the clinical phenotype of hyperexcitability and aberrant responses to heat stimuli. When we compared the severity of the clinical phenotype with the hyperexcitability of the iPSC-derived sensory neurons, we saw a trend toward a correlation for individual mutations. The in vitro IEM phenotype was sensitive to Nav1.7 blockers, including the clinical test agent. Given the importance of peripherally expressed sodium channels in many pain conditions, our approach may have broader utility for a wide range of pain and sensory conditions.
Goldberg, Yigal Paul; Price, Nicola; Namdari, Rostam; Cohen, Charles Jay; Lamers, Mieke H; Winters, Conrad; Price, James; Young, Clint E; Verschoof, Henry; Sherrington, Robin; Pimstone, Simon Neil; Hayden, Michael Reuben
Mutations in the SCN9A gene leading to deficiency of its protein product, Na(v)1.7, cause congenital indifference to pain (CIP). CIP is characterized by the absence of the ability to sense pain associated with noxious stimuli. In contrast, the opposite phenotype to CIP, inherited erythromelalgia (IEM), is a disorder of spontaneous pain caused by missense mutations resulting in gain-of-function in Na(v)1.7 that promote neuronal hyperexcitability. The primary aim of this study was to demonstrate that Na(v)1.7 antagonism could alleviate the pain of IEM, thereby demonstrating the utility of this opposite phenotype model as a tool for rapid proof-of-concept for novel analgesics. An exploratory, randomized, double-blind, 2-period crossover study was conducted in 4 SCN9A mutation-proven IEM patients. In each treatment period (2days), separated by a 2-day washout period, patients were orally administered XEN402 (400mg twice daily) or matching placebo. In 3 patients, pain was induced by heat or exercise during each treatment arm. A fourth patient, in constant severe pain, required no induction. Patient-reported outcomes of pain intensity and/or relief were recorded, and the time taken to induce pain was measured. The ability to induce pain in IEM patients was significantly attenuated by XEN402 compared with placebo. XEN402 increased the time to maximal pain induction and significantly reduced the amount of pain (42% less) after induction (P=.014). This pilot study showed that XEN402 blocks Na(v)1.7-mediated pain associated with IEM, thereby demonstrating target engagement in humans and underscoring the use of rare genetic disorders with mutant target channels as a novel approach to rapid proof-of-concept.
Vasylyev, Dmytro V; Han, Chongyang; Zhao, Peng; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman; Waxman, Stephen G
The link between sodium channel Nav1.7 and pain has been strengthened by identification of gain-of-function mutations in patients with inherited erythromelalgia (IEM), a genetic model of neuropathic pain in humans. A firm mechanistic link to nociceptor dysfunction has been precluded because assessments of the effect of the mutations on nociceptor function have thus far depended on electrophysiological recordings from dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons transfected with wild-type (WT) or mutant Nav1.7 channels, which do not permit accurate calibration of the level of Nav1.7 channel expression. Here, we report an analysis of the function of WT Nav1.7 and IEM L858H mutation within small DRG neurons using dynamic-clamp. We describe the functional relationship between current threshold for action potential generation and the level of WT Nav1.7 conductance in primary nociceptive neurons and demonstrate the basis for hyperexcitability at physiologically relevant levels of L858H channel conductance. We demonstrate that the L858H mutation, when modeled using dynamic-clamp at physiological levels within DRG neurons, produces a dramatically enhanced persistent current, resulting in 27-fold amplification of net sodium influx during subthreshold depolarizations and even greater amplification during interspike intervals, which provide a mechanistic basis for reduced current threshold and enhanced action potential firing probability. These results show, for the first time, a linear correlation between the level of Nav1.7 conductance and current threshold in DRG neurons. Our observations demonstrate changes in sodium influx that provide a mechanistic link between the altered biophysical properties of a mutant Nav1.7 channel and nociceptor hyperexcitability underlying the pain phenotype in IEM.
Wu, Min-Tzu; Huang, Po-Yuan; Yen, Chen-Tung; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Lee, Ming-Jen
Primary erythromelalgia (PE) is an autosomal dominant neurological disorder characterized by severe burning pain and erythema in the extremities upon heat stimuli or exercise. Mutations in human SCN9A gene, encoding the α-subunit of the voltage-gated sodium channel, Na(v)1.7, were found to be responsible for PE. Three missense mutations of SCN9A gene have recently been identified in Taiwanese patients including a familial (I136V) and two sporadic mutations (I848T, V1316A). V1316A is a novel mutation and has not been characterized yet. Topologically, I136V is located in DI/S1 segment and both I848T and V1316A are located in S4-S5 linker region of DII and DIII domains, respectively. To characterize the elelctrophysiological manifestations, the channel conductance with whole-cell patch clamp was recorded on the over-expressed Chinese hamster overy cells. As compared with wild type, the mutant channels showed a significant hyperpolarizing shift in voltage dependent activation and a depolarizing shift in steady-state fast inactivation. The recovery time from channel inactivation is faster in the mutant than in the wild type channels. Since warmth can trigger and exacerbate symptoms, we then examine the influence of tempearture on the sodium channel conduction. At 35°C, I136V and V1316A mutant channels exhibit a further hyperpolarizing shift at activation as compared with wild type channel, even though wild type channel also produced a significant hyperpolarizing shift compared to that of 25°C. High temperature caused a significant depolarizing shift in steady-state fast inactivation in all three mutant channels. These findings may confer to the hyperexcitability of sensory neurons, especially at high temperature. In order to identifying an effective treatment, we tested the IC₅₀ values of selective sodium channel blockers, lidocaine and mexiletine. The IC₅₀ for mexiletine is lower for I848T mutant channel as compared to that of the wild type and other two
Yen, Chen-Tung; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Lee, Ming-Jen
Primary erythromelalgia (PE) is an autosomal dominant neurological disorder characterized by severe burning pain and erythema in the extremities upon heat stimuli or exercise. Mutations in human SCN9A gene, encoding the α–subunit of the voltage-gated sodium channel, Nav1.7, were found to be responsible for PE. Three missense mutations of SCN9A gene have recently been identified in Taiwanese patients including a familial (I136V) and two sporadic mutations (I848T, V1316A). V1316A is a novel mutation and has not been characterized yet. Topologically, I136V is located in DI/S1 segment and both I848T and V1316A are located in S4-S5 linker region of DII and DIII domains, respectively. To characterize the elelctrophysiological manifestations, the channel conductance with whole-cell patch clamp was recorded on the over-expressed Chinese hamster overy cells. As compared with wild type, the mutant channels showed a significant hyperpolarizing shift in voltage dependent activation and a depolarizing shift in steady-state fast inactivation. The recovery time from channel inactivation is faster in the mutant than in the wild type channels. Since warmth can trigger and exacerbate symptoms, we then examine the influence of tempearture on the sodium channel conduction. At 35°C, I136V and V1316A mutant channels exhibit a further hyperpolarizing shift at activation as compared with wild type channel, even though wild type channel also produced a significant hyperpolarizing shift compared to that of 25°C. High temperature caused a significant depolarizing shift in steady-state fast inactivation in all three mutant channels. These findings may confer to the hyperexcitability of sensory neurons, especially at high temperature. In order to identifying an effective treatment, we tested the IC50 values of selective sodium channel blockers, lidocaine and mexiletine. The IC50 for mexiletine is lower for I848T mutant channel as compared to that of the wild type and other two mutants
LI, XINGZHI; LI, YAOMIN; QU, YAO; LU, LAIJIN
Erythromelalgia (EM) is a debilitating neurovascular disease that is refractory to numerous treatment modalities. The present study reported the case of a 72-year-old woman diagnosed with EM secondary to polycythemia vera (PV), who was effectively treated with the use of patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) and interferon α-2b therapy. The study aimed to provide clinical information on this condition based on the findings of the present case and previously-reported cases. PCEA containing local anesthetics and dexamethasone or fentanyl resulted in nearly complete relief of symptoms. Furthermore, continuous use of interferon α-2b for the treatment of the PV completely relieved the EM symptoms. In conclusion, PCEA and interferon α-2b may be promising treatments for EM secondary to PV. PMID:27168811
Eberhardt, Mirjam; Nakajima, Julika; Klinger, Alexandra B; Neacsu, Cristian; Hühne, Kathrin; O'Reilly, Andrias O; Kist, Andreas M; Lampe, Anne K; Fischer, Kerstin; Gibson, Jane; Nau, Carla; Winterpacht, Andreas; Lampert, Angelika
Inherited erythromelalgia (IEM) causes debilitating episodic neuropathic pain characterized by burning in the extremities. Inherited "paroxysmal extreme pain disorder" (PEPD) differs in its clinical picture and affects proximal body areas like the rectal, ocular, or jaw regions. Both pain syndromes have been linked to mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7. Electrophysiological characterization shows that IEM-causing mutations generally enhance activation, whereas mutations leading to PEPD alter fast inactivation. Previously, an A1632E mutation of a patient with overlapping symptoms of IEM and PEPD was reported (Estacion, M., Dib-Hajj, S. D., Benke, P. J., Te Morsche, R. H., Eastman, E. M., Macala, L. J., Drenth, J. P., and Waxman, S. G. (2008) NaV1.7 Gain-of-function mutations as a continuum. A1632E displays physiological changes associated with erythromelalgia and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder mutations and produces symptoms of both disorders. J. Neurosci. 28, 11079-11088), displaying a shift of both activation and fast inactivation. Here, we characterize a new mutation of Nav1.7, A1632T, found in a patient suffering from IEM. Although transfection of A1632T in sensory neurons resulted in hyperexcitability and spontaneous firing of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons, whole-cell patch clamp of transfected HEK cells revealed that Nav1.7 activation was unaltered by the A1632T mutation but that steady-state fast inactivation was shifted to more depolarized potentials. This is a characteristic normally attributed to PEPD-causing mutations. In contrast to the IEM/PEPD crossover mutation A1632E, A1632T failed to slow current decay (i.e. open-state inactivation) and did not increase resurgent currents, which have been suggested to contribute to high-frequency firing in physiological and pathological conditions. Reduced fast inactivation without increased resurgent currents induces symptoms of IEM, not PEPD, in the new Nav1.7 mutation, A1632T. Therefore
Natkunarajah, J; Atherton, D; Elmslie, F; Mansour, S; Mortimer, P
Primary erythermalgia (erythromelalgia) is a rare autosomal dominant condition characterized by intermittent attacks of erythema, increased skin temperature and severe burning pain in the extremities, in a bilateral symmetrical distribution. Mutations in the SCN9A gene, which encodes a voltage-gated sodium channel have been shown to cause this disease. We report a family identified to have a mutation in the SCN9A gene, in which one severely affected family member has responded to the therapeutic combination of gabapentin and carbamazepine treatment.
Cregg, Roman; Laguda, Bisola; Werdehausen, Robert; Cox, James J; Linley, John E; Ramirez, Juan D; Bodi, Istvan; Markiewicz, Michael; Howell, Kevin J; Chen, Ya-Chun; Agnew, Karen; Houlden, Henry; Lunn, Michael P; Bennett, David L H; Wood, John N; Kinali, Maria
We identified and clinically investigated two patients with primary erythromelalgia mutations (PEM), which are the first reported to map to the fourth domain of Nav1.7 (DIV). The identified mutations (A1746G and W1538R) were cloned and transfected to cell cultures followed by electrophysiological analysis in whole-cell configuration. The investigated patients presented with PEM, while age of onset was very different (3 vs. 61 years of age). Electrophysiological characterization revealed that the early onset A1746G mutation leads to a marked hyperpolarizing shift in voltage dependence of steady-state activation, larger window currents, faster activation kinetics (time-to-peak current) and recovery from steady-state inactivation compared to wild-type Nav1.7, indicating a pronounced gain-of-function. Furthermore, we found a hyperpolarizing shift in voltage dependence of slow inactivation, which is another feature commonly found in Nav1.7 mutations associated with PEM. In silico neuron simulation revealed reduced firing thresholds and increased repetitive firing, both indicating hyperexcitability. The late-onset W1538R mutation also revealed gain-of-function properties, although to a lesser extent. Our findings demonstrate that mutations encoding for DIV of Nav1.7 can not only be linked to congenital insensitivity to pain or paroxysmal extreme pain disorder but can also be causative of PEM, if voltage dependency of channel activation is affected. This supports the view that the degree of biophysical property changes caused by a mutation may have an impact on age of clinical manifestation of PEM. In summary, these findings extent the genotype-phenotype correlation profile for SCN9A and highlight a new region of Nav1.7 that is implicated in PEM.
Huang, Chiung-Wei; Lai, Hsing-Jung; Huang, Po-Yuan; Lee, Ming-Jen; Kuo, Chung-Chin
The Nav1.7 channel critically contributes to the excitability of sensory neurons, and gain-of-function mutations of this channel have been shown to cause inherited erythromelalgia (IEM) with neuropathic pain. In this study, we report a case of a severe phenotype of IEM caused by p.V1316A mutation in the Nav1.7 channel. Mechanistically, we first demonstrate that the Navβ4 peptide acts as a gating modifier rather than an open channel blocker competing with the inactivating peptide to give rise to resurgent currents in the Nav1.7 channel. Moreover, there are two distinct open and two corresponding fast inactivated states in the genesis of resurgent Na+ currents. One is responsible for the resurgent route and practically existent only in the presence of Navβ4 peptide, whereas the other is responsible for the "silent" route of recovery from inactivation. In this regard, the p.V1316A mutation makes hyperpolarization shift in the activation curve, and depolarization shift in the inactivation curve, vividly uncoupling inactivation from activation. In terms of molecular gating operation, the most important changes caused by the p.V1316A mutation are both acceleration of the transition from the inactivated states to the activated states and deceleration of the reverse transition, resulting in much larger sustained as well as resurgent Na+ currents. In summary, the genesis of the resurgent currents in the Nav1.7 channel is ascribable to the transient existence of a distinct and novel open state promoted by the Navβ4 peptide. In addition, S4-5 linker in domain III where V1316 is located seems to play a critical role in activation-inactivation coupling, chiefly via direct modulation of the transitional kinetics between the open and the inactivated states. The sustained and resurgent Na+ currents may therefore be correlatively enhanced by specific mutations involving this linker and relevant regions, and thus marked hyperexcitability in corresponding neural tissues as well as
Huang, Chiung-Wei; Huang, Po-Yuan; Lee, Ming-Jen; Kuo, Chung-Chin
The Nav1.7 channel critically contributes to the excitability of sensory neurons, and gain-of-function mutations of this channel have been shown to cause inherited erythromelalgia (IEM) with neuropathic pain. In this study, we report a case of a severe phenotype of IEM caused by p.V1316A mutation in the Nav1.7 channel. Mechanistically, we first demonstrate that the Navβ4 peptide acts as a gating modifier rather than an open channel blocker competing with the inactivating peptide to give rise to resurgent currents in the Nav1.7 channel. Moreover, there are two distinct open and two corresponding fast inactivated states in the genesis of resurgent Na+ currents. One is responsible for the resurgent route and practically existent only in the presence of Navβ4 peptide, whereas the other is responsible for the “silent” route of recovery from inactivation. In this regard, the p.V1316A mutation makes hyperpolarization shift in the activation curve, and depolarization shift in the inactivation curve, vividly uncoupling inactivation from activation. In terms of molecular gating operation, the most important changes caused by the p.V1316A mutation are both acceleration of the transition from the inactivated states to the activated states and deceleration of the reverse transition, resulting in much larger sustained as well as resurgent Na+ currents. In summary, the genesis of the resurgent currents in the Nav1.7 channel is ascribable to the transient existence of a distinct and novel open state promoted by the Navβ4 peptide. In addition, S4–5 linker in domain III where V1316 is located seems to play a critical role in activation–inactivation coupling, chiefly via direct modulation of the transitional kinetics between the open and the inactivated states. The sustained and resurgent Na+ currents may therefore be correlatively enhanced by specific mutations involving this linker and relevant regions, and thus marked hyperexcitability in corresponding neural tissues as
Namer, Barbara; Ørstavik, Kristin; Schmidt, Roland; Kleggetveit, Inge-Petter; Weidner, Christian; Mørk, Cato; Kvernebo, Mari Skylstad; Kvernebo, Knut; Salter, Hugh; Carr, Thomas Hedley; Segerdahl, Märta; Quiding, Hans; Waxman, Stephen George; Handwerker, Hermann Otto; Torebjörk, Hans Erik; Jørum, Ellen; Schmelz, Martin
Seven patients diagnosed with erythromelalgia (EM) were investigated by microneurography to record from unmyelinated nerve fibers in the peroneal nerve. Two patients had characterized variants of sodium channel Nav1.7 (I848T, I228M), whereas no mutations of coding regions of Navs were found in 5 patients with EM. Irrespective of Nav1.7 mutations, more than 50% of the silent nociceptors in the patients with EM showed spontaneous activity. In the patient with mutation I848T, all nociceptors, but not sympathetic efferents, displayed enhanced early subnormal conduction in the velocity recovery cycles and the expected late subnormality was reversed to supranormal conduction. The larger hyperpolarizing shift of activation might explain the difference to the I228M mutation. Sympathetic fibers that lack Nav1.8 did not show supranormal conduction in the patient carrying the I848T mutation, confirming in human subjects that the presence of Nav1.8 crucially modulates conduction in cells expressing EM mutant channels. The characteristic pattern of changes in conduction velocity observed in the patient with the I848T gain-of function mutation in Nav1.7 could be explained by axonal depolarization and concomitant inactivation of Nav1.7. If this were true, activity-dependent hyperpolarization would reverse inactivation of Nav1.7 and account for the supranormal CV. This mechanism might explain normal pain thresholds under resting conditions.
Estacion, Mark; Yang, Yang; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Tyrrell, Lynda; Lin, Zhimiao; Yang, Yong; Waxman, Stephen G
Gain-of-function missense mutations of SCN9A gene, which encodes voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7, alter channel's biophysical properties causing painful disorders which are refractory to pharmacotherapy in the vast majority of patients. Here we report a novel SCN9A mutation (ca.T3947C) in exon 20 in a 9 year old patient, not present in 200 ethnically-matched control alleles; the mutation substitutes the invariant valine 1316 residue within DIII/S5 by alanine (V1316A). Voltage-clamp studies show that Nav1.7 V1316A mutation hyperpolarizes activation (-9 mV), and enhances response to ramp stimuli (3-fold), changes that are predicted to cause hyperexcitability of DRG neurons. V1316A also hyperpolarizes steady-state slow-inactivation (-9.9 mV), which is predicted to attenuate the effect of this mutation on DRG neuron firing. These changes are consistent with previously characterized Erytheromelalgia associated mutations of Nav1.7.
Waxman, Stephen G
The universe of painful Na-channelopathies--human disorders caused by mutations in voltage-gated sodium channels--has recently expanded in three dimensions. We now know that mutations of sodium channels cause not only rare genetic 'model disorders' such as inherited erythromelalgia and channelopathy-associated insensitivity to pain but also common painful neuropathies. We have learned that mutations of NaV1.8, as well as mutations of NaV1.7, can cause painful Na-channelopathies. Moreover, recent studies combining atomic level structural models and pharmacogenomics suggest that the goal of genomically guided pain therapy may not be unrealistic.
Katsantonis, Ioannis; Roussos, Nikolaos; Manoludaki, Kassiani; Antonopoulos, Stavros
The skin may exhibit the first clinical evidence of a systemic disease and may provide the first clues to a diagnosis in malignancies. Erythroderma is defined as generalized redness and scaling and it is a clinical manifestation of a variety of underlying diseases including, rarely, solid tumors. Breast cancer is associated with a variety of skin paraneoplastic manifestations like acanthosis nigricans, erythromelalgia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, acrokeratosis paraneoplastica, dermatomyositis, systemic sclerosis, and scleroderma. However, in the literature, the correlation of erythroderma with breast cancer is quite infrequent. Here, we describe a case of a 76-year-old woman who presented with a paraneoplastic manifestation of erythroderma due to breast cancer. PMID:25295062
Doppler, K; Sommer, C
Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for electrogenesis in excitable cells. The isoform Nav1.7 is primarily expressed in nociceptors. Mutations of the SCN9A gene, which codes for the α-subunit of Nav1.7, are the cause of primary erythromelalgia and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder, two rare neuropathic pain conditions. Recent studies have shown that mutations in the SCN9A gene are the cause of a subgroup of idiopathic small fiber neuropathies and that polymorphisms of SCN9A are associated with an increase in susceptibility to pain. These findings not only contribute to the understanding of the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain but also offer targets for a more specific pain therapy.
Darwazah, Ahmad K.; Madi, Hamad; Zagha, Rami; Hawash, Yahia
Essential thrombocythemia is a rare type of myeloproliferative disorder. Cerebral, myocardial, and peripheral thrombosis are all frequent complications of the disease. A 71-year-old man presented with severe coronary artery disease, associated with cerebral vascular ischemic changes and erythromelalgia. His platelet count was 1,486 ×103/μL. The patient underwent successful myocardial revascularization by means of an off-pump technique after his platelet count had been reduced by hydroxycarbamide administration. We conclude that the use of off-pump cardiopulmonary bypass in high-risk patients with essential thrombocythemia is safe. Reducing platelet count via the administration of hydroxycarbamide and the careful balancing of antiplatelets and anticoagulants is crucial in determining the outcome of surgery. PMID:25425991
Marton, Imelda; Simon, Zsófia; Borbényi, Zita
Polycythaemia vera (PV), a condition characterized by blood hyperviscosity due to the expansion of the erythrocyte mass is the most common entity among all Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms. Arterial and venous thrombotic events are leading determinants of morbidity and mortality but impairment of quality of life due to vasomotor symptoms (erythromelalgia, pruritus) and disease-associated symptoms (tiredness, fatigue, pruritus, night sweats, vision problems, headache, concentration loss, abdominal discomfort, early satiety, fever, weight loss) are also present. The review of polycythaemia vera is actual as the updated WHO 2016 classification of myeloid neoplasms has changed the diagnostic criteria and a new second-line treatment option - JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor ruxolitinib - has been approved for patients who had an inadequate response to or are intolerant of hydroxyurea, which represents a breakthrough in the treatment of this patient population. Orv. Hetil., 2016, 157(44), 1743-1751.
Jo, Woo-Sik; Hossain, Md. Akil
Mushrooms are a recognized component of the human diet, with versatile medicinal properties. Some mushrooms are popular worldwide for their nutritional and therapeutic properties. However, some species are dangerous because they cause toxicity. There are many reports explaining the medicinal and/or toxic effects of these fungal species. Cases of serious human poisoning generally caused by the improper identification of toxic mushroom species are reported every year. Different substances responsible for the fatal signs and symptoms of mushroom toxicity have been identified from various poisonous mushrooms. Toxicity studies of mushroom species have demonstrated that mushroom poisoning can cause adverse effects such as liver failure, bradycardia, chest pain, seizures, gastroenteritis, intestinal fibrosis, renal failure, erythromelalgia, and rhabdomyolysis. Correct categorization and better understanding are essential for the safe and healthy consumption of mushrooms as functional foods as well as for their medicinal use. PMID:25346597
Jo, Woo-Sik; Hossain, Md Akil; Park, Seung-Chun
Mushrooms are a recognized component of the human diet, with versatile medicinal properties. Some mushrooms are popular worldwide for their nutritional and therapeutic properties. However, some species are dangerous because they cause toxicity. There are many reports explaining the medicinal and/or toxic effects of these fungal species. Cases of serious human poisoning generally caused by the improper identification of toxic mushroom species are reported every year. Different substances responsible for the fatal signs and symptoms of mushroom toxicity have been identified from various poisonous mushrooms. Toxicity studies of mushroom species have demonstrated that mushroom poisoning can cause adverse effects such as liver failure, bradycardia, chest pain, seizures, gastroenteritis, intestinal fibrosis, renal failure, erythromelalgia, and rhabdomyolysis. Correct categorization and better understanding are essential for the safe and healthy consumption of mushrooms as functional foods as well as for their medicinal use.
Patidar, O P; Patidar, Rekha; Patidar, R P
Ploycythaemia vera (PV) is most common of chronic myeloproliferative disorder that involves the multipotent haemaotopoietic progenitor cells. PV has indolent course and recognised either by incidental discovery of high haemoglobin or haemtocrit. PV may present with aquagenic pruritus (AP) for years together without any other sign and symptoms. So advice of simple complete bood count as a routine in every case of pruritus can be helpful to diagnose it timely thereby dreaded complications of PV, related to hyperviscosity of blood like thrombosis both arterial and venous can be managed antecedently. A 50-year-old male doctor diagnosed as a case of PV presented to us with postcoital generalised pruritus (PCP) as a first, rarest symptoms and he remained undiagnosed for 10 years till he developed other features of PV like aquagenic pruritus, headache, red congestion in eyes and erythromelalgia symptoms complex erythema, burning pain and warmness of lower extremities. Then he was investigated and was found to have high haemoglobin or haemtocrit, JAK 2 genetic mutation changes were present, bone marrow biopsy and other biochemical investigations confirmed the diagnosis of PV. Initially he was managed with repeated phlebotomy to bring down high haemtocrit value in acceptable range (approximately 45%). Simultaneously he was put on hydroxyurea 500 mg twice daily doses. Since then his symptoms improved and monthly blood count was done to monitor the haemtocrit. So advice of simple blood count is highly informative in every case of generalised pruritus.
Gracia-Ramos, Abraham Edgar; Vera-Lastra, Olga Lidia
Paraneoplastic rheumatic syndromes are defined as those events associated with cancer that occur away from the primary tumor or its metastases and are induced by the presence of the tumor through biological products like hormones, peptides, autocrine or paracrine mediators, antibodies or cytotoxic lymphocytes. Of these, hypertrophic osteoarthropathy, carcinomatous polyarthritis, dermatomyositis/polymyositis, and paraneoplastic vasculitis are the most frequently recognized. Other less known associations are based upon a smaller number of case reports, and include palmar fasciitis, panniculitis, erythema nodosum, Raynaud¥s phenomenon, erythromelalgia and Lupus-like syndrome. Usually the clinical course of rheumatic paraneoplastic syndrome and cancer parallels the resolution of the tumor usually leads to resolution of this syndrome. It is difficult make the distinction between idiopathic rheumatic syndromes from those that result from cancer. Still, there are several clinical data that can guide us to the presence of an occult malignancy, and should be identified as the detection of cancer can lead to early treatment and better prognosis.
Estacion, Mark; Harty, T Patrick; Choi, Jin-Sung; Tyrrell, Lynda; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Waxman, Stephen G
Sodium channel Na(V)1.7, encoded by the SCN9A gene, is preferentially expressed in nociceptive primary sensory neurons, where it amplifies small depolarizations. In studies on a family with inherited erythromelalgia associated with Na(V)1.7 gain-of-function mutation A863P, we identified a nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism within SCN9A in the affected proband and several unaffected family members; this polymorphism (c. 3448C&T, Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms database rs6746030, which produces the amino acid substitution R1150W in human Na(V)1.7 [hNa(V)1.7]) is present in 1.1 to 12.7% of control chromosomes, depending on ethnicity. In this study, we examined the effect of the R1150W substitution on function of the hNa(V)1.7 channel, and on the firing of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in which this channel is normally expressed. We show that this polymorphism depolarizes activation (7.9-11mV in different assays). Current-clamp analysis shows that the 1150W allele depolarizes (6mV) resting membrane potential and increases ( approximately 2-fold) the firing frequency in response to depolarization in DRG neurons in which it is present. Our results suggest that polymorphisms in the Na(V)1.7 channel may influence susceptibility to pain.
Goldberg, Y P; Pimstone, S N; Namdari, R; Price, N; Cohen, C; Sherrington, R P; Hayden, M R
We have utilized a novel application of human genetics, illuminating the important role that rare genetic disorders can play in the development of novel drugs that may be of relevance for the treatment of both rare and common diseases. By studying a very rare Mendelian disorder of absent pain perception, congenital indifference to pain, we have defined Nav1.7 (endocded by SCN9A) as a critical and novel target for analgesic development. Strong human validation has emerged with SCN9A gain-of-function mutations causing inherited erythromelalgia (IEM) and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder, both Mendelian disorder of spontaneous or easily evoked pain. Furthermore, variations in the Nav1.7 channel also modulate pain perception in healthy subjects as well as in painful conditions such as osteoarthritis and Parkinson disease. On the basis of this, we have developed a novel compound (XEN402) that exhibits potent, voltage-dependent block of Nav1.7. In a small pilot study, we showed that XEN402 blocks Nav1.7 mediated pain associated with IEM thereby demonstrating the use of rare genetic disorders with mutant target channels as a novel approach to rapid proof-of-concept. Our approach underscores the critical role that human genetics can play by illuminating novel and critical pathways pertinent for drug discovery.
Hampl, Martin; Eberhardt, Esther; O’Reilly, Andrias O.; Lampert, Angelika
Mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7 are linked to inherited pain syndromes such as erythromelalgia (IEM) and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder (PEPD). PEPD mutations impair Nav1.7 fast inactivation and increase persistent currents. PEPD mutations also increase resurgent currents, which involve the voltage-dependent release of an open channel blocker. In contrast, IEM mutations, whenever tested, leave resurgent currents unchanged. Accordingly, the IEM deletion mutation L955 (ΔL955) fails to produce resurgent currents despite enhanced persistent currents, which have hitherto been considered a prerequisite for resurgent currents. Additionally, ΔL955 exhibits a prominent enhancement of slow inactivation (SI). We introduced mutations into Nav1.7 and Nav1.6 that either enhance or impair SI in order to investigate their effects on resurgent currents. Our results show that enhanced SI is accompanied by impaired resurgent currents, which suggests that SI may interfere with open-channel block. PMID:27174182
Koenig, Jennifer; Werdehausen, Robert; Linley, John E; Habib, Abdella M; Vernon, Jeffrey; Lolignier, Stephane; Eijkelkamp, Niels; Zhao, Jing; Okorokov, Andrei L; Woods, C Geoffrey; Wood, John N; Cox, James J
The Nav1.7 voltage-gated sodium channel, encoded by SCN9A, is critical for human pain perception yet the transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms that regulate this gene are still incompletely understood. Here, we describe a novel natural antisense transcript (NAT) for SCN9A that is conserved in humans and mice. The NAT has a similar tissue expression pattern to the sense gene and is alternatively spliced within dorsal root ganglia. The human and mouse NATs exist in cis with the sense gene in a tail-to-tail orientation and both share sequences that are complementary to the terminal exon of SCN9A/Scn9a. Overexpression analyses of the human NAT in human embryonic kidney (HEK293A) and human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cell lines show that it can function to downregulate Nav1.7 mRNA, protein levels and currents. The NAT may play an important role in regulating human pain thresholds and is a potential candidate gene for individuals with chronic pain disorders that map to the SCN9A locus, such as Inherited Primary Erythromelalgia, Paroxysmal Extreme Pain Disorder and Painful Small Fibre Neuropathy, but who do not contain mutations in the sense gene. Our results strongly suggest the SCN9A NAT as a prime candidate for new therapies based upon augmentation of existing antisense RNAs in the treatment of chronic pain conditions in man.
Estacion, Mark; Waxman, Stephen G
The Nav1.7 sodium channel is preferentially expressed within dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and sympathetic ganglion neurons. Gain-of-function mutations that cause the painful disorder inherited erythromelalgia (IEM) shift channel activation in a hyperpolarizing direction. When expressed within DRG neurons, these mutations produce a depolarization of resting membrane potential (RMP). The biophysical basis for the depolarized RMP has to date not been established. To explore the effect on RMP of the shift in activation associated with a prototypical IEM mutation (L858H), we used dynamic clamp models that represent graded shifts that fractionate the effect of the mutation on activation voltage-dependence. Dynamic clamp recording from DRG neurons using a before-and-after protocol for each cell made it possible, even in the presence of cell-to-cell variation in starting RMP, to assess the effects of these graded mutant models. Our results demonstrate a non-linear, progressively larger effect on RMP as the shift in activation voltage-dependence becomes more hyperpolarized. The observed differences in RMP were predicted by the "late" current of each mutant model. Since the depolarization of RMP imposed by IEM mutant channels is known, in itself, to produce hyperexcitability of DRG neurons, the development of pharmacological agents that normalize or partially normalize activation voltage-dependence of IEM mutant channels merits further study.
Danziger, N; Willer, J-C
Congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP) is a rare syndrome with various clinical expressions, characterized by a dramatic impairment of pain perception since birth. In the 1980s, progress in nerve histopathology allowed to demonstrate that CIP was almost always a manifestation of hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies (HSAN) involving the small-calibre (A-delta and C) nerve fibres which normally transmit nociceptive inputs along sensory nerves. Identification of the genetic basis of several clinical subtypes has led to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved, emphasizing in particular the crucial role of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the development and survival of nociceptors. Recently, mutations of the gene coding for the sodium channel Nav1.7--a voltage-dependent sodium channel expressed preferentially on peripheral nociceptors and sympathetic ganglia--have been found to be the cause of CIP in patients showing a normal nerve biopsy. This radical impairment of nociception mirrors the hereditary pain syndromes associated with "gain of function" mutations of the same ion channel, such as familial erythromelalgia and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder. Future research with CIP patients may identify other proteins specifically involved in nociception, which might represent potential targets for chronic pain treatment. Moreover, this rare clinical syndrome offers the opportunity to address interesting neuropsychological issues, such as the role of pain experience in the construction of body image and in the empathic representation of others' pain.
Srinivasan, Gayathri; Sujatha, N.
Laser Doppler Blood Flow meter uses tissue backscattered light to non-invasively assess the blood flow rate. qualitatively. As there is large spatial variability and the temporal heterogeneity in tissue microvasculature, the measured blood flow rate is expressed in relative units. A non-linear approach in order to understand the dynamics of the microcirculation led to the fractal characterization of the blood flow signals. The study presented in the paper aims to analyze the fractal behavior of Laser Doppler Flow (LDF) signals and to quantitatively estimate the fractal dimension of waveforms using Box-Counting method. The measured Fractal dimension is an estimate of temporal variability of tissue perfusion. The rate at which fractal dimension varies as a function of location between individuals, exhibits a weak correlation with time. Further studies with a larger number of subjects are necessary to test the generality of the findings and if changes in dimension are reproducible in given individuals. In conclusion, the fractal dimension determined by Box-counting method may be useful for characterizing LDF time series signals. Future experiments evaluating whether the technique can be used to quantify microvascular dysfunction, as commonly occurring in conditions such as Diabetes, Raynaud's phenomenon, Erythromelalgia and Achenbach syndrome needs to be evaluated.
Andersen, Louise K; Davis, Mark D P
Many skin and skin-related diseases affect the sexes unequally, with attendant implications for public health and resource allocation. To evaluate better the incidence of skin and skin-related diseases affecting males vs. females, we reviewed published population-based epidemiology studies of skin disorders performed utilizing Rochester Epidemiology Project data. Females had a higher incidence of the following diseases: connective tissue diseases (scleroderma, morphea, dermatomyositis, primary Sjögren syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus [not in all studies]), pityriasis rosea, herpes progenitalis, condyloma acuminatum, hidradenitis suppurativa, herpes zoster (except in children), erythromelalgia, venous stasis syndrome, and venous ulcers. Males had a higher incidence of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, basal cell carcinoma (exception, females aged ≤40 years), squamous cell carcinoma, and lentigo maligna. Incidence rates were equal in males and females for cutaneous malignant melanoma (exception, higher in females aged 18-39 years), lower-extremity cellulitis, cutaneous nontuberculous mycobacterial infection, Behçet disease, delusional infestation, alopecia areata, and bullous pemphigoid. Many of the population-based sex-specific incidence rates of skin and skin-related diseases derived from the Rochester Epidemiology Project are strikingly different from those estimated elsewhere. In general, females are more commonly affected by skin and skin-related diseases. The reasons for this imbalance remain to be determined and are likely multifactorial.
Markos, A R; Dinsmore, Wallace
We conducted a literature review of patients' conditions described under persistent genital arousal disorder and restless genital syndrome, vulvodynia and male genital skin pain of unknown aetiology (penoscrotodynia). Our aim is to improve the understanding of the condition, unify nomenclature and promote evidence-based practice. The most prominent symptom in persistent genital arousal disorder and restless genital syndrome is a spontaneous, unwelcomed, intrusive and distressing vulval sensation. There are similarities between the clinical presentation of vulvodynia, penoscrotodynia, persistent genital arousal disorder and restless genital syndrome patients. The aetiology of persistent genital arousal disorder and restless genital syndrome, similar to vulvodynia, could be better explained in terms of neuro-vascular dysfunction, genital peripheral neuropathy and/or dysfunctional micro-vascular arterio-venous shunting. Erythromelalgia lends itself to explain some cases of restless genital syndrome, who have concurrent restless legs syndrome; and therefore draw parallels with the red scrotum syndrome. The published literature supports the concept of classifying restless genital syndrome as a sub-type of vulvodynia rather than sexual dysfunction.
Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Yang, Yong; Waxman, Stephen G
SCN9A, the gene which encodes voltage-gated sodium channel Na(v)1.7, is located on human chromosome 2 within a cluster of other members of this gene family. Na(v)1.7 is present at high levels in most peripheral nociceptive neurons in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and in sympathetic neurons. In addition to its focal tissue-specific expression, Na(v)1.7 is distinguished by its ability to amplify small depolarizations, thus acting as a threshold channel and modulating excitability. Dominantly inherited gain-of-function mutations in SCN9A have been linked to two familial painful disorders: inherited erythromelalgia (IEM) and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder (PEPD). One set of mutations leads to severe episodes of pain in the feet and hands in patients with IEM, and a different set of mutations causes pain in a perirectal, periocular, and mandibular distribution in patients with PEPD. These mutations allow mutant channels to activate in response to weaker stimuli, or to remain open longer in response to stimulation. The introduction of mutant channels into DRG neurons alters electrogenesis and renders these primary sensory neurons hyperexcitable. Mutant Na(v)1.7 channels lower the threshold for single action potentials and increase the number of action potentials that neurons fire in response to suprathreshold stimuli. In contrast, recessively inherited loss-of-function mutations in SCN9A, which cause a loss of function of Na(v)1.7 in patients, lead to indifference to pain with sparing of motor and cognitive abilities. The central role of Na(v)1.7 in these disorders, and the apparently limited consequences of loss of this channel in humans make it an attractive target for treatment of pain.
Brouwer, Brigitte A; Merkies, Ingemar S J; Gerrits, Monique M; Waxman, Stephen G; Hoeijmakers, Janneke G J; Faber, Catharina G
Pain is a frequent debilitating feature reported in peripheral neuropathies with involvement of small nerve (Aδ and C) fibers. Voltage-gated sodium channels are responsible for the generation and conduction of action potentials in the peripheral nociceptive neuronal pathway where NaV 1.7, NaV 1.8, and NaV 1.9 sodium channels (encoded by SCN9A, SCN10A, and SCN11A) are preferentially expressed. The human genetic pain conditions inherited erythromelalgia and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder were the first to be linked to gain-of-function SCN9A mutations. Recent studies have expanded this spectrum with gain-of-function SCN9A mutations in patients with small fiber neuropathy and in a new syndrome of pain, dysautonomia, and small hands and small feet (acromesomelia). In addition, painful neuropathies have been recently linked to SCN10A mutations. Patch-clamp studies have shown that the effect of SCN9A mutations is dependent upon the cell-type background. The functional effects of a mutation in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and sympathetic neuron cells may differ per mutation, reflecting the pattern of expression of autonomic symptoms in patients with painful neuropathies who carry the mutation in question. Peripheral neuropathies may not always be length-dependent, as demonstrated in patients with initial facial and scalp pain symptoms with SCN9A mutations showing hyperexcitability in both trigeminal ganglion and DRG neurons. There is some evidence suggesting that gain-of-function SCN9A mutations can lead to degeneration of peripheral axons. This review will focus on the emerging role of sodium channelopathies in painful peripheral neuropathies, which could serve as a basis for novel therapeutic strategies.
Ahn, Hye-Sook; Vasylyev, Dmytro V; Estacion, Mark; Macala, Lawrence J; Shah, Palak; Faber, Catharina G; Merkies, Ingemar S J; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Waxman, Stephen G
Sodium channel NaV1.7 is preferentially expressed in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and sympathetic ganglion neurons. Gain-of-function NaV1.7 mutations/variants have been identified in the painful disorders inherited erythromelalgia and small-fiber neuropathy (SFN). DRG neurons transfected with these channel variants display depolarized resting potential, reduced current-threshold, increased firing-frequency and spontaneous firing. Whether the depolarizing shift in resting potential and enhanced spontaneous firing are due to persistent activity of variant channels, or to compensatory changes in other conductance(s) in response to expression of the variant channel, as shown in model systems, has not been studied. We examined the effect of wild-type NaV1.7 and a NaV1.7 mutant channel, D623N, associated with SFN, on resting potential and membrane potential during interspike intervals in DRG neurons. Resting potential in DRG neurons expressing D623N was depolarized compared to neurons expressing WT-NaV1.7. Exposure to TTX hyperpolarized resting potential by 7mV, increased current-threshold, decreased firing-frequency, and reduced NMDG-induced-hyperpolarization in DRG neurons expressing D623N. To assess the contribution of depolarized resting potential to DRG neuron excitability, we mimicked the mutant channel's depolarizing effect by current injection to produce equivalent depolarization; the depolarization decreased current threshold and increased firing-frequency. Voltage-clamp using ramp or repetitive action potentials as commands showed that D623N channels enhance the TTX-sensitive inward current, persistent at subthreshold membrane voltages, as predicted by a Hodgkin-Huxley model. Our results demonstrate that a variant of NaV1.7 associated with painful neuropathy depolarizes resting membrane potential and produces an enhanced inward current during interspike intervals, thereby contributing to DRG neuron hyperexcitability.
Themistocleous, Andreas C; Ramirez, Juan D; Serra, Jordi; Bennett, David L H
Small fibre neuropathy (SFN) is characterised by structural injury selectively affecting small diameter sensory and/or autonomic axons. The clinical presentation is dominated by pain. SFN complicates a number of common diseases such as diabetes mellitus and is likely to be increasingly encountered. The diagnosis of SFN is demanding as clinical features can be vague and nerve conduction studies normal. New diagnostic techniques, in particular measurement of intraepidermal nerve fibre density, have significantly improved the diagnostic efficiency of SFN. Management is focused on the treatment of the underlying cause and analgesia, as there is no neuroprotective therapy. A recent and significant advance is the finding that a proportion of cases labelled as idiopathic SFN are in fact associated with gain of function mutations of the voltage-gated sodium channels Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 (encoded by the genes SCN9A and SCN10A, respectively). There is a further group of heritable painful conditions in which gain of function mutations in ion channels alter excitability of sensory neurones but do not cause frank axon degeneration; these include mutations in Nav1.7 (causing erythromelalgia and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder) and TRPA1 (resulting in familial episodic pain disorder). These conditions are exceptionally rare but have provided great insight into the nociceptive system as well as yielding potential analgesic drug targets. In patients with no pre-existing risk factor, the investigation of an underlying cause of SFN should be systematic and appropriate for the patient population. In this review, we focus on how to incorporate recent developments in the diagnosis and pathophysiology of SFN into clinical practice. PMID:24778270
Estacion, M; Choi, J S; Eastman, E M; Lin, Z; Li, Y; Tyrrell, L; Yang, Y; Dib-Hajj, S D; Waxman, S G
Ion channel missense mutations cause disorders of excitability by changing channel biophysical properties. As an increasing number of new naturally occurring mutations have been identified, and the number of other mutations produced by molecular approaches such as in situ mutagenesis has increased, the need for functional analysis by patch-clamp has become rate limiting. Here we compare a patch-clamp robot using planar-chip technology with human patch-clamp in a functional assessment of a previously undescribed Nav1.7 sodium channel mutation, S211P, which causes erythromelalgia. This robotic patch-clamp device can increase throughput (the number of cells analysed per day) by 3- to 10-fold. Both modes of analysis show that the mutation hyperpolarizes activation voltage dependence (8 mV by manual profiling, 11 mV by robotic profiling), alters steady-state fast inactivation so that it requires an additional Boltzmann function for a second fraction of total current (approximately 20% manual, approximately 40% robotic), and enhances slow inactivation (hyperpolarizing shift--15 mV by human,--13 mV robotic). Manual patch-clamping demonstrated slower deactivation and enhanced (approximately 2-fold) ramp response for the mutant channel while robotic recording did not, possibly due to increased temperature and reduced signal-to-noise ratio on the robotic platform. If robotic profiling is used to screen ion channel mutations, we recommend that each measurement or protocol be validated by initial comparison to manual recording. With this caveat, we suggest that, if results are interpreted cautiously, robotic patch-clamp can be used with supervision and subsequent confirmation from human physiologists to facilitate the initial profiling of a variety of electrophysiological parameters of ion channel mutations.
Emery, Edward C; Habib, Abdella M; Cox, James J; Nicholas, Adeline K; Gribble, Fiona M; Woods, C Geoffrey; Reimann, Frank
The importance of NaV1.7 (encoded by SCN9A) in the regulation of pain sensing is exemplified by the heterogeneity of clinical phenotypes associated with its mutation. Gain-of-function mutations are typically pain-causing and have been associated with inherited erythromelalgia (IEM) and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder (PEPD). IEM is usually caused by enhanced NaV1.7 channel activation, whereas mutations that alter steady-state fast inactivation often lead to PEPD. In contrast, nonfunctional mutations in SCN9A are known to underlie congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP). Although well documented, the correlation between SCN9A genotypes and clinical phenotypes is still unclear. Here we report three families with novel SCN9A mutations. In a multiaffected dominant family with IEM, we found the heterozygous change L245 V. Electrophysiological characterization showed that this mutation did not affect channel activation but instead resulted in incomplete fast inactivation and a small hyperpolarizing shift in steady-state slow inactivation, characteristics more commonly associated with PEPD. In two compound heterozygous CIP patients, we found mutations that still retained functionality of the channels, with two C-terminal mutations (W1775R and L1831X) exhibiting a depolarizing shift in channel activation. Two mutations (A1236E and L1831X) resulted in a hyperpolarizing shift in steady-state fast inactivation. To our knowledge, these are the first descriptions of mutations with some retained channel function causing CIP. This study emphasizes the complex genotype-phenotype correlations that exist for SCN9A and highlights the C-terminal cytoplasmic region of NaV1.7 as a critical region for channel function, potentially facilitating analgesic drug development studies.
Klein, Max M.
OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that acquired small-fiber polyneuropathy (SFPN), previously uncharacterized in children, contributes to unexplained pediatric widespread pain syndromes. METHODS: Forty-one consecutive patients evaluated for unexplained widespread pain beginning before age 21 had medical records comprehensively analyzed regarding objective diagnostic testing for SFPN (neurodiagnostic skin biopsy, nerve biopsy, and autonomic function testing), plus histories, symptoms, signs, other tests, and treatments. Healthy, demographically matched volunteers provided normal controls for SFPN tests. RESULTS: Age at illness onset averaged 12.3 ± 5.7 years; 73% among this poly-ethnic sample were female (P = .001). Sixty-eight percent were chronically disabled, and 68% had hospitalizations. Objective testing diagnosed definite SFPN in 59%, probable SFPN in 17%, and possible SFPN in 22%. Only 1 of 41 had entirely normal SFPN test results. Ninety-eight percent of patients had other somatic complaints consistent with SFPN dysautonomia (90% cardiovascular, 82% gastrointestinal, and 34% urologic), 83% reported chronic fatigue, and 63% had chronic headache. Neurologic examinations identified reduced sensation in 68% and vasomotor abnormalities in 55%, including 23% with erythromelalgia. Exhaustive investigations for SFPN causality identified only history of autoimmune illnesses in 33% and serologic markers of disordered immunity in 89%. Treatment with corticosteroids and/or intravenous immune globulin objectively and subjectively benefited 80% of patients (12/15). CONCLUSIONS: More than half among a large series of patients with childhood-onset, unexplained chronic widespread pain met rigorous, multitest, diagnostic criteria for SFPN, which extends the age range of acquired SFPN into early childhood. Some cases appeared immune-mediated and improved with immunomodulatory therapies. PMID:23478869
Brière, Jean B
Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is an acquired myeloproliferative disorder (MPD) characterized by a sustained elevation of platelet number with a tendency for thrombosis and hemorrhage. The prevalence in the general population is approximately 30/100,000. The median age at diagnosis is 65 to 70 years, but the disease may occur at any age. The female to male ratio is about 2:1. The clinical picture is dominated by a predisposition to vascular occlusive events (involving the cerebrovascular, coronary and peripheral circulation) and hemorrhages. Some patients with ET are asymptomatic, others may experience vasomotor (headaches, visual disturbances, lightheadedness, atypical chest pain, distal paresthesias, erythromelalgia), thrombotic, or hemorrhagic disturbances. Arterial and venous thromboses, as well as platelet-mediated transient occlusions of the microcirculation and bleeding, represent the main risks for ET patients. Thromboses of large arteries represent a major cause of mortality associated with ET or can induce severe neurological, cardiac or peripheral artery manifestations. Acute leukemia or myelodysplasia represent only rare and frequently later-onset events. The molecular pathogenesis of ET, which leads to the overproduction of mature blood cells, is similar to that found in other clonal MPDs such as chronic myeloid leukemia, polycythemia vera and myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia of the spleen. Polycythemia vera, myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia of the spleen and ET are generally associated under the common denomination of Philadelphia (Ph)-negative MPDs. Despite the recent identification of the JAK2 V617F mutation in a subset of patients with Ph-negative MPDs, the detailed pathogenetic mechanism is still a matter of discussion. Therapeutic interventions in ET are limited to decisions concerning the introduction of anti-aggregation therapy and/or starting platelet cytoreduction. The therapeutic value of hydroxycarbamide and aspirin in high risk