Niemann-Pick type C Suspicion Index tool: Analyses by age and association of manifestations

James E. Wraith, Frédéric Sedel, Mercèdes Pineda, Frits A. Wijburg, Christian J. Hendriksz, Michael Fahey, Mark Walterfang, Marc C. Patterson, Harbajan Chadha-Boreham, Stefan A. Kolb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: The Suspicion Index (SI) screening tool was developed to identify patients suspected of having Niemann-Pick disease type C (NP-C). The SI provides a risk prediction score (RPS) based on NP-C manifestations within and across domains (visceral, neurological, and psychiatric). The aim of these subanalyses was to further examine the discriminatory power of the SI by age and manifestation-associations by NP-C suspicion-level and leading manifestations. Methods: The original retrospectively collected data were split into three patient age groups, where NP-C-positive cases were >16 years (n = 30), 4-16 years (n = 18), and <4 years (n = 23), and patients' RPS were analyzed by logistic regression. Co-occurrence of manifestations within groups of suspicion level (low, medium, high) and leading manifestations (presence/absence of ataxia, cognitive decline, psychosis, and splenomegaly) were analyzed descriptively. Results: NP-C-positive cases versus controls showed strong discriminatory power of RPS. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.964 (>16 years) and 0.981 (4-16 years) but weaker 0.562 for infants (<4 years). Patients with RPS <70 were characterized by a lack of psychiatric manifestations and low levels of neurological involvement, suggestive of a preneurological phase of the disease. In patients >4 years, prominent leading manifestation-associations were ataxia with dystonia, dysarthria/dysphagia, and cognitive decline. Psychosis was associated with dysarthria/dysphagia but also with cognitive decline and treatment-resistant psychiatric symptoms. Conclusions: The SI tool maintains strong discriminatory power in patients >4 years but is not as useful for infants <4 years. The SI is also informative regarding the association and co-occurrence of manifestations in patients with NP-C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of inherited metabolic disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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