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Rapid and sensitive method for prenatal diagnosis of propionic acidemia using stable isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and urease pretreatment.

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Division of Human Genetics, Medical Research Institute, Kanazawa Medical University, 1-1 Daigaku, Uchinada, Ishikawa 9200293, Japan.


Propionic acidemia is one of the most frequent inborn errors of metabolism caused by a deficiency of propionyl-CoA carboxylase. Methylcitric acid, a key indicator of this disorder, is increased in amniotic fluid when a fetus is affected. Therefore, the direct chemical analysis of cell-free amniotic fluid for methylcitric acid, using stable isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, was carried out for the prenatal diagnosis of propionic acidemia. We developed a simple, highly sensitive, and accurate method for quantitation of this polar methylcitric acid in amniotic fluids by applying a simplified urease pretreatment which we devised earlier for urine. As the recovery of methylcitric acid from amniotic fluid was as high as 91% with a coefficient of variation lower than 3% in this procedure, only 0.02 ml of sample was required for the analysis of the affected fetus. This new procedure takes 1 h for sample pretreatment, including derivatization, and 15 min for GC-MS measurement and provides final results within 1.5 h.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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