Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency is an autosomal recessive metabolic disease with a wide range of severity from Wolman Disease to Cholesterol Ester Storage Disease. Recently enzyme replacement therapy with sebelipase alpha has been approved by drug agencies for treatment of this lysosomal disease.
Ezetimibe is an azetidine derivative which blocks Niemann Pick C1-Like 1 Protein; as its consequence, plasmatic concentration of low density lipoproteins and other apoB-containing lipoproteins, that are the substrate of lysosomal acid lipase, are decreased. Furthermore, ezetimibe acts by blocking inflammasome activation which is the cause of liver fibrosis in steatohepatitis and in lysosomal storage diseases.
Two patients with Cholesterol Ester Storage Disease were treated with ezetimibe for 9 years and a third patients for 10 years. Treatment was supplemented with low dose of atorvastatin in the first two patients during the last 6 years. All patients showed a significant reduction of alanine aminotransferase, cholesterol and triglyceride. Furthermore, no progression of liver fibrosis was demonstrated.
In this observational case series, ezetimibe is effective, safe, and sustainable treatment for lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. Further studies are warranted to demonstrate that ezetimibe is an alternative therapy to enzyme replacement therapy.