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Clin Chim Acta. 2002 Mar;317(1-2):191-7.

Gaucher and Niemann-Pick diseases--enzymatic diagnosis in dried blood spots on filter paper: retrospective diagnoses in newborn-screening cards.

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Laboratory of Neurochemistry, Uriarte 2383, 1425, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Gaucher disease (GD) and Niemann-Pick (NP) disease are caused by deficient activity of the lysosomal enzymes acid beta-D-glucosidase (ABG) and acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), respectively. For diagnosis, these enzymes are usually measured in the extracts of leukocytes or cultured fibroblasts. Chitotriosidase (CTE), a chitinolytic enzyme, is markedly increased in the plasma of Gaucher patients. We describe methods for the assay of acid beta-D-glucosidase, acid sphingomyelinase, chitotriosidase, and alpha-N-acetyl-galactosaminidase (NAGA) as a control enzyme in blood spots that were dried onto filter paper.


To tubes containing a 3 mm-diameter blood spot, we added elution liquid and substrate solution. After incubation at 37 degrees C, the amount of hydrolyzed product was compared with a calibrator to allow the quantification of enzyme activity. We examined 80 healthy controls, 54 Gaucher patients, 8 Niemann-Pick patients, 27 obligate carriers, and the newborn-screening cards (NSC) from a case of Gaucher and a case of Niemann-Pick disease.


The described methodology is useful to identify Gaucher and Niemann-Pick patients and controls, using samples that are sufficiently stable to be transported to the testing laboratory by mail. The diagnosis of both diseases on a newborn-screening card was clearly established. The newborn-screening card has been added to the biological materials that allow the identification of patients with Gaucher and Niemann-Pick diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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