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Prenat Diagn. 2004 Nov;24(11):857-60.

Prenatal diagnosis for arginase deficiency by second-trimester fetal erythrocyte arginase assay and first-trimester ARG1 mutation analysis.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


Hyperargininemia is a progressive neurometabolic disorder caused by deficiency of hepatic cytosolic arginase I, resulting from mutations in the ARG1 gene. We diagnosed arginase deficiency in a three-year-old male child of first-cousin Palestinian Arab parents. Prenatal diagnosis of an unaffected fetus was achieved in the second trimester of a subsequent pregnancy by cordocentesis and analysis of arginase activity in fetal erythrocytes. ARG1 mutation analysis in the proband revealed homozygosity for a deletion of 10,753 bp extending from the first intron to beyond the poly (A) site of the gene. This is the first gross deletion in the ARG1 gene to be identified and the first mutation to be described in an arginase-deficient patient of this ethnic origin. The identification of the ARG1 deletion in this family enabled first-trimester prenatal diagnosis in a subsequent pregnancy by multiplex PCR analysis performed on chorionic villous DNA.

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