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Prenat Diagn. 2001 Oct;21(10):856-9.

Prenatal diagnosis of multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency: association with elevated alpha-fetoprotein and cystic renal changes.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA.


We report the occurrence of multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD) in two consecutive pregnancies in a young, Caucasian, non-consanguineous couple. In the first pregnancy, the maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein was elevated. A sonogram showed growth delay, cystic renal disease, and oligohydramnios; the parents decided to terminate the pregnancy. Postmortem examination confirmed the cystic renal disease and showed hepatic steatosis, raising the suspicion of a metabolic disorder. The diagnosis of MADD was made by immunoblot studies on cultured fibroblasts. In the subsequent pregnancy, a sonogram at 15 weeks' gestation showed an early growth delay but normal kidneys. The maternal serum and amniotic fluid concentrations of alpha-fetoprotein were elevated, and the amniotic fluid acylcarnitine profile was consistent with MADD. In vitro metabolic studies on cultured amniocytes confirmed the diagnosis. A follow-up sonogram showed cystic renal changes. These cases provide additional information regarding the evolution of renal changes in affected fetuses and show a relationship with elevated alpha-fetoprotein, which may be useful in counseling the couple at risk. MADD should be considered in the differential diagnosis of elevated alpha-fetoprotein and cystic renal disease. Early growth delay may be an additional feature.

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