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Test ID: AGAS Alpha-Galactosidase, Serum

Reporting Name

Alpha-Galactosidase, S

Useful For

Diagnosis of Fabry disease in male patients


Preferred screening test (serum) for Fabry disease


This test is not useful for patients undergoing a work up for a meat or meat-derived product allergy.

Clinical Information

Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder resulting from deficient activity of the enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (alpha-Gal A) and the subsequent deposition of glycosylsphingolipids in tissues throughout the body; in particular, in the kidney, heart, and brain. Variants within the GLA gene cause Fabry disease and more than 630 variants have been identified. Severity and onset of symptoms are dependent on the amount of residual enzyme activity. The classic form of Fabry disease occurs in male patients who have less than 1% alpha-Gal A activity. Symptoms usually appear in childhood or adolescence and can include acroparesthesias (burning pain in the extremities), gastrointestinal issues, multiple angiokeratomas, reduced or absent sweating, corneal opacity, and proteinuria. In addition, progressive renal involvement leading to kidney failure, also called end-stage renal (kidney) disease (ESRD), typically occurs in adulthood, followed by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. The estimated incidence varies from 1 in 3000 infants detected via newborn screening to 1 in 10,000 males diagnosed after onset of symptoms.


Male patients with residual alpha-Gal A activity greater than 1% may present with 1 of 3 variant forms of Fabry disease with onset of symptoms later in life: a renal variant associated with ESRD but without the pain or skin lesions; a cardiac variant typically presenting in the sixth to eighth decade with left ventricular hypertrophy, cardiomyopathy and arrhythmia, and proteinuria, but without ESRD; and a cerebrovascular variant presenting as stroke or transient ischemic attack. The variant forms of Fabry disease may be underdiagnosed.


Female patients who are carriers of Fabry disease can have clinical presentations ranging from asymptomatic to severely affected. Measurement of alpha-Gal A activity is not generally useful for identifying carriers of Fabry disease, as many of these individuals have normal levels of alpha-Gal A. Therefore, molecular genetic analysis of the GLA gene (FABRZ / Fabry Disease, Full Gene Analysis, Varies) is recommended to detect carriers.


Unless irreversible damage has already occurred, treatment with enzyme replacement therapy has led to significant clinical improvement in affected individuals. In addition, some (adult) patients may be candidates for oral chaperone therapy. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment are desirable, and in a few US states, early detection of Fabry disease through newborn screening has been implemented.


Absent or reduced alpha-Gal A in blood spots (AGABS / Alpha-Galactosidase, Blood Spot), leukocytes (AGAW / Alpha-Galactosidase, Leukocytes), or serum (AGAS / Alpha-Galactosidase, Serum) can indicate a diagnosis of classic or variant Fabry disease. Molecular sequence analysis of the GLA gene (FABRZ / Fabry Disease, Full Gene Analysis, Varies) allows for detection of the disease-causing variant in both male and female patients. The biomarkers globotriaosylsphingosine (LGB3S / Globotriosylsphingosine, Serum) and ceremide trihexosides (CTSU / Ceramide Trihexosides and Sulfatides, Random, Urine) are typically elevated in symptomatic patients with Fabry disease and may aid in the diagnostic evaluation of female patients and individuals with a variant of uncertain significance in GLA.


See Fabry Disease Testing Algorithm and Fabry Disease: Newborn Screen-Positive Follow-up


Deficiency (<0.016 U/L) of alpha-galactosidase in properly submitted specimens is diagnostic for Fabry disease in male patients. If concerned about specimen integrity, recheck using leukocyte testing (AGAW / Alpha-Galactosidase, Leukocytes).

Report Available

8 to 15 days

Day(s) Performed

Monday, Thursday

Clinical Reference

1. Desnick RJ, Ioannou YA, Eng CM: Alpha-galactosidase A deficiency: Fabry disease. In: Valle D, Antonarakis S, Ballabio A, Beaudet AL, Mitchell GA, eds. The Online Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. McGraw-Hill; 2019. Accessed February 18, 2022. Available at

2. De Schoenmakere G, Poppe B, Wuyts B, et al: Two-tier approach for the detection of alpha-galactosidase A deficiency in kidney transplant recipients. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2008 Dec;23(12):4044-4048. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfn370

3. Mehta A, Hughes DA: Fabry Disease. In: Pagon RA, Adam MP, Ardinger HH, et al: eds. GeneReviews [Internet]. University of Washington, Seattle; 2002. Updated January 27, 2022. Accessed February 18, 2022. Available at

4. Laney DA, Bennett RL, Clarke V, et al: Fabry disease practice guidelines: Recommendations of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. J Genet Couns. 2013 Oct;22(5):555-564. doi: 10.1007/s10897-013-9613-3

5. Laney DA, Peck DS, Atherton AM, et al: Fabry disease in infancy and early childhood: a systematic literature review. Genet Med. 2015 May;17(5)323-330. doi: 10.1038/gim.2014.120

6. Ferreira S, Auray-Blais C, Boutin M, et et al: Variations in the GLA gene correlate with globotriaosylceramide and globotriaosylsphingosine analog levels in urine and plasma. Clin Chim Acta. 2015 Jul 20;447:96-104. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2015.06.003

7. Nowak A, Beuschlein F, Sivasubramaniam V, et al: Lyso-Gb3 associates with adverse long-term outcome in patients with Fabry disease. J Med Genet. 2022 Mar;59(3):287-293. doi: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-107338

Method Name


Specimen Type


Ordering Guidance

If testing needed for assessment of meat or meat-derived product allergy, order either ALGAL / Galactose-Alpha-1,3-Galactose (Alpha-Gal), IgE, Serum or APGAL / Galactose-Alpha-1,3-Galactose (Alpha-Gal) Mammalian Meat Allergy Profile, Serum.


Carrier detection using enzyme levels is unreliable for female patients as results may be within the normal values. For testing carrier status, order FABRZ / Fabry Disease, Full Gene Analysis, Varies.

Additional Testing Requirements

Urine sediment analysis (CTSU / Ceramide Trihexosides and Sulfatides, Random, Urine) for the accumulating trihexoside substrate and measurement of globotriaosylsphingosine (LGB3S / Gobotriaosylsphingosine, Serum) are also recommended.

Necessary Information

Sex of patient is required for interpretation of results.

Specimen Required

Collection Container/Tube:

Preferred: Red top

Acceptable: Serum gel

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 2 mL

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.2 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Frozen (preferred) 14 days
  Refrigerated  24 hours

Reference Values

0.074-0.457 U/L


Note: Results from this assay are not useful for female carrier determination. Carriers usually have levels in the normal range.

Test Classification

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
AGAS Alpha-Galactosidase, S 1813-5


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
50578 Specimen 31208-2
50579 Specimen ID 57723-9
50580 Source 31208-2
50581 Order Date 82785-7
50582 Reason For Referral 42349-1
50583 Method 85069-3
50590 Alpha-Galactosidase,S 1813-5
50584 Interpretation 59462-2
50585 Amendment 48767-8
50586 Reviewed By 18771-6
50587 Release Date 82772-5


1. New York Clients-Informed consent is required. Document on the request form or electronic order that a copy is on file. The following documents are available:

-Informed Consent for Genetic Testing (T576)

-Informed Consent for Genetic Testing-Spanish (T826)

2. Biochemical Genetics Patient Information (T602)

3. If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Biochemical Genetics Test Request (T798) with the specimen.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Neurology Catalog Additional Information:

mml-Cerebrovascular, mml-Pediatric, mml-Neurometabolic