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N Engl J Med. 1975 May 22;292(21):1085-90.

Treatment of carbamyl phosphate synthetase deficiency with keto analogues of essential amino acids.


Congenital carbamyl phosphate synthetase deficiency was diagnosed by liver biopsy in a 13-year-old girl, alpha-Keto analogues of essential amino acids have been shown to spare nitrogen by reducing urea formation; hence, they were given to this patient in the hope of reducing hyperammonemia and improving protein tolerance. After intravenous infusion of the keto analogues of valine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine and phenylalanine, the corresponding plasma amino acids, including alloisoleucine and tyrosine, rose sharply. Twenty-four hours later, fasting plasma ammonia had fallen from the preinfusion value of 0.050 to 0.028 mM. Protein intake was kept at 0.5 g per kilogram for two weeks. Addition of keto acids by mouth reduced plasma ammonia and alanine to normal or near normal levels. Seizures and episodes of vomiting and lethargy decreased in frequency. Urinary nitrogen decreased, suggesting that nitrogen balance improved. These data indicate that keto acids may be useful in the treatment of congenital hyperammonemia.

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