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Propionic acidemia

The spectrum of propionic acidemia (PA) ranges from neonatal-onset to late-onset disease. Neonatal-onset PA, the most common form, is characterized by a healthy newborn with poor feeding and decreased arousal in the first few days of life, followed by progressive encephalopathy of unexplained origin. Without prompt diagnosis and management, this is followed by progressive encephalopathy manifesting as lethargy, seizures, or coma that can result in death. It is frequently accompanied by metabolic acidosis with anion gap, lactic acidosis, ketonuria, hypoglycemia, hyperammonemia, and cytopenias. Individuals with late-onset PA may remain asymptomatic and suffer a metabolic crisis under catabolic stress (e.g., illness, surgery, fasting) or may experience a more insidious onset with the development of multiorgan complications including vomiting, protein intolerance, failure to thrive, hypotonia, developmental delays or regression, movement disorders, or cardiomyopathy. Isolated cardiomyopathy can be observed on rare occasion in the absence of clinical metabolic decompensation or neurocognitive deficits. Manifestations of neonatal and late-onset PA over time can include growth impairment, intellectual disability, seizures, basal ganglia lesions, pancreatitis, and cardiomyopathy. Other rarely reported complications include optic atrophy, hearing loss, premature ovarian insufficiency, and chronic renal failure. [from GeneReviews]

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Disease or Syndrome


Abnormal acid accumulation or depletion of base. [from HPO]

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Pathologic Function

Acute hyperammonemia

An increased concentration of ammonia in the blood with sudden onset. [from HPO]

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