Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract We describe a 16-year-old boy suffering from psychomotor retardation, sensorineuronal hearing impairment, peripheral neuropathy, hepatosplenomegaly, short stature and delayed puberty. Postnatally, muscular hypotonia, mild facial dysmorphism and delayed fontanelle closure had been noticed. At the time of our examination, adrenal cortical function was normal. Biochemical analysis revealed accumulation of very long (〉C22) chain fatty acids in plasma and fibroblasts. Furthermore, elevated levels of intermediates of bile acid synthesis and phytanic acid were detectable. These findings are consistent with a defect in the peroxisomal β-oxidation system. A generalised defect of peroxisomal function was excluded by normal plasmalogen levels in erythrocytes and normal plasmalogen de novo synthesis in fibroblasts. Immunoblotting of the peroxisomal β-oxidation enzymes gave normal results suggesting retained immunoreactivity but catalytic inactivity of one of the enzymes involved, probably either the trifunctional protein or the peroxisomal ketothiolase. This case markedly differs clinically from the few published reports on isolated deficiencies of peroxisomal β-oxidation. Among the patients with comparable biochemical findings, this is the first report of survival into adolescence.
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