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Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2009 Dec 15;4:28. doi: 10.1186/1750-1172-4-28.

A novel mutation causing mild, atypical fumarylacetoacetase deficiency (Tyrosinemia type I): a case report.

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  • 1Center for Metabolic Diseases, Leuven University Hospitals, Leuven, Belgium.


A male patient, born to unrelated Belgian parents, presented at 4 months with epistaxis, haematemesis and haematochezia. On physical examination he presented petechiae and haematomas, and a slightly enlarged liver. Serum transaminases were elevated to 5-10 times upper limit of normal, alkaline phosphatases were 1685 U/L (<720), total bilirubin was 2.53 mg/dl (<1.0), ammonaemia 69 microM (<32), prothrombin time less than 10%, thromboplastin time >180 s (<60) and alpha-fetoprotein 29723 microg/L (<186). Plasma tyrosine (651 microM) and methionine (1032 microM) were strongly increased. In urine, tyrosine metabolites and 4-oxo-6-hydroxyheptanoic acid were increased, but succinylacetone and succinylacetoacetate--pathognomonic for tyrosinemia type I--were repeatedly undetectable. Delta-aminolevulinic acid was normal, which is consistent with the absence of succinylacetone. Abdominal ultrasound and brain CT were normal.Fumarylacetoacetase (FAH) protein and activity in cultured fibroblasts and liver tissue were decreased but not absent. 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase activity in liver was normal, which is atypical for tyrosinemia type I. A novel mutation was found in the FAH gene: c.103G>A (Ala35Thr). In vitro expression studies showed this mutation results in a strongly decreased FAH protein expression.Dietary treatment with phenylalanine and tyrosine restriction was initiated at 4 months, leading to complete clinical and biochemical normalisation. The patient, currently aged 12 years, shows a normal physical and psychomotor development.This is the first report of mild tyrosinemia type I disease caused by an Ala35Thr mutation in the FAH gene, presenting atypically without increase of the diagnostically important toxic metabolites succinylacetone and succinylacetoacetate.

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