Hypophosphatasia: Natural history study of 101 affected children investigated at one research center

Michael P. Whyte, Deborah Wenkert, Fan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Hypophosphatasia (HPP) is the inborn-error-of-metabolism that features deficient activity of the tissue-nonspecific isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase (TNSALP). Resultant extracellular accumulation of inorganic pyrophosphate, a TNSALP substrate and potent inhibitor of mineralization, typically leads to tooth loss and sometimes to rickets or osteomalacia. HPP's remarkably broad-ranging severity is largely explained by autosomal dominant versus autosomal recessive transmission from among several hundred usually missense mutations positioned throughout the gene that encodes TNSALP. In 2015, our cross-sectional investigation of 173 affected children validated and expanded the clinical nosology commonly used for pediatric HPP. Herein, for the 101 patients in that cohort with longitudinal data, we explored the natural history of pediatric HPP by assessing their z-scores for height and then for weight, grip strength, and bone mineral density (BMD) determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) also after adjusting for patient height. Eighteen patients contributed to “across” puberty evaluation. According to increasing HPP severity, there were 28 odonto HPP, 28 mild childhood HPP, 37 severe childhood HPP, and 8 infantile HPP patients typically studied from early to mid-childhood. The individual values for each parameter were wide-ranging within, and overlapping between, the four successive patient groups. Final mean/median z-scores, like the published initial values, paralleled the nosology. Longitudinal findings were similar for the boys versus girls and across puberty. Mean/median height z-scores remained constant for all four patient groups. In contrast, mean/median weight z-scores increased with aging, including after height-adjustment, resembling the recent trend for American children. However, excessive weight gain was typically not observed and mean/median values became average for height. Mean/median z-scores calculated routinely for chronologic age did not change for grip strength or for lumbar spine or total hip BMD. However, height-correction of the cohort suggested some worsening of grip strength z-scores and indicated improvement in spine BMD z-scores. Overall, in affected children and adolescents, HPP represents a clinically stable but chronic disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-138
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • Inborn-error-of-metabolism
  • Metabolic bone disease
  • Orphan disease
  • Rickets


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