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Am J Perinatol. 1994 Mar;11(2):160-2.

Fetal liver biopsy for prenatal diagnosis of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase deficiency.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase deficiency is a type of an inborn error of metabolism with a poor prognosis. Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase is a liver-specific enzyme, and its deficiency can only be diagnosed by enzyme assay using liver biopsy specimens. A pregnant woman at risk for carbamoyl phosphate synthetase deficiency was evaluated for the purpose of prenatal diagnosis of the condition. Fetal liver biopsy was performed at the 22nd week of gestation. The results of enzyme assays on fetal liver biopsy revealed normal enzymatic activity and the diagnosis of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase deficiency was ruled out prenatally. Methods and safety of fetal liver biopsy are discussed. Measurements of activity of liver-specific enzymes were evaluated with respect to methodology and manner of assessment. Prenatal diagnosis of deficiencies in liver-specific enzymes, which have hitherto been considered difficult to detect before birth, has now become possible.

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