Primary hyperoxalurias (PHs) are rare autosomal recessive diseases of the glyoxylate metabolism; PH1 is caused by mutations in the AGXT gene, PH2 in GRHPR and PH3 in HOGA1.
Here we report the first large multi-center cohort of Italian PH patients collected over 30 years (1992-2020 median follow-up time 8.5 years). Complete genotype was available for 94/95 PH1 patients and for all PH2 (n = 3) and PH3 (n = 5) patients. Symptoms at onset were mainly nephrolithiasis (46.3%) and nephrocalcinosis (33.7%). Median age at onset of symptoms and diagnosis were 4.0 years and 9.9 years, respectively.
Fifty-four patients (56.8%) were diagnosed after chronic kidney disease. Sixty-three patients (66.3%) developed end stage kidney disease (median age 14.0 years). Twenty-one patients had a kidney-only transplant and, among them, seven had a second kidney transplant combined with liver transplant. A combined kidney-liver transplant was carried out in 29 patients and a sequential kidney-liver transplant was performed in two. In five cases a preemptive liver transplant was performed. Those receiving a liver-only transplant tended to have lower kidney function at last follow-up.
Our study of PHs in Italy underlines a considerable diagnostic delay, which has only slightly decreased in recent years. Therefore, we suggest a more extensive use of both metabolic screening among patients with recurrent kidney stones and genotyping, including unambiguous assignment of minor/major allele status in order to promptly begin appropriate treatment. This will be fundamental in order to have access to the new therapies, which are mainly focused on substrate reduction for the oxalate-producing enzymes using RNA-interference.

© 2022. The Author(s).