At what age does Wilson disease typically present?

Updated: Feb 14, 2019
  • Author: Richard K Gilroy, MBBS, FRACP; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

A German study of patients with Wilson disease illustrated that patients presenting earlier show predominantly hepatic symptoms (15.5 [9.6] y), while those presenting later more often present with neurological symptoms (20.2 [10.8] y). [8]

Thomas and colleagues reviewed the mutations found in the ATP7B gene, and their findings suggested a wide age span in the onset of Wilson disease, perhaps wider than previously considered typical. Mutations that completely disrupt the gene can produce liver disease in early childhood, at a time when Wilson disease may not be considered in the differential diagnosis. [9]

In general, the upper age limit for considering Wilson Disease is 40 years and the lower age limit is 5 years, although the disorder has been detected in children younger than 3 years and in adults older than 70 years. [10]


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