The prevalence and clinical features of Wilson's disease in Scotland were investigated. Thirty three cases were identified but adequate information was available on only 28. In 1989, the prevalence rate was 4 per million. Ten patients with a mean (SEM) age of 18 (1.9) years presented with neurological symptoms, 12 patients aged 14 (1.7) years presented with hepatic symptoms, and six patients aged 12 (0.9) years were asymptomatic siblings of patients with Wilson's disease. Nine (56%) of the 16 patients who underwent liver biopsy on presentation were found to have cirrhosis. Penicillamine treatment was stopped in nine patients because of: abnormal peripheral blood count (6), rash (2), and patient's own choice (1). Nineteen patients were alive in 1989 -12 were well, one had chronic liver failure, four chronic neurological disabilities, and two had both chronic liver failure and neurological disabilities. Twelve patients died from: complications of chronic liver failure (2), acute liver failure (4), pneumonia associated with immobility (4), and other causes (2). Several patients who died had received incomplete medical supervision.
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