Background and aims: Wilson disease (WD) is an inherited disorder of copper metabolism. When treated, the outcome can be excellent, although the long-term survival has yet to be well documented. The aim of this study was to describe the long-term outcome of a cohort of patients with WD and to assess those factors affecting the phenotypic manifestation of WD.
Methods: The presence of mutations to the ATP7B gene, the clinical manifestations, treatments and the long-term outcomes were analysed retrospectively in 117 patients with WD (59 men and 58 women, aged at evaluation 38.5 ± 11, range 16–63 years).
Results: Fifty-five patients with a neurological presentation, 51 patients with a hepatic presentation and 11 asymptomatic patients were followed up for an average of 15.1 ± 10 years (median 12 years, range 1–41 years). The H1069Q ATP7B gene mutation was the most frequent genetic variant (54.3%); the frequency of this mutation did not differ between patients with either the hepatic or the neurological presentation (P=0.099). d-penicillamine or zinc salts (81 and 17% respectively) were used for treatment, and three patients underwent liver transplantation. The majority of symptomatic patients became asymptomatic, or improved, during the follow-up (82% patients with hepatic presentation, 69% with neurological presentation). The long-term survival of patients with WD did not differ from that of the general Czech population (P=0.95).
Conclusions: Long-term follow-up shows a satisfactory response in the great majority of adequately treated patients with WD and survival coincides with that of the general population.