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J Inherit Metab Dis. 2011 Dec;34(6):1141-51. doi: 10.1007/s10545-011-9374-9. Epub 2011 Jul 12.

Natural history of alkaptonuria revisited: analyses based on scoring systems.

Author information

1
Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, Liverpool, L7 8XP, UK. lrang@liv.ac.uk

Abstract

Increased circulating homogentisic acid in body fluids occurs in alkaptonuria (AKU) due to lack of enzyme homogentisate dioxygenase leading in turn to conversion of HGA to a pigmented melanin-like polymer, known as ochronosis. The tissue damage in AKU is due to ochronosis. A potential treatment, a drug called nitisinone, to decrease formation of HGA is available. However, deploying nitisinone effectively requires its administration at the most optimal time in the natural history. AKU has a long apparent latent period before overt ochronosis develops. The rate of change of ochronosis and its consequences over time following its recognition has not been fully described in any quantitative manner. Two potential tools are described that were used to quantitate disease burden in AKU. One tool describes scoring the clinical features that includes clinical assessments, investigations and questionnaires in 15 patients with AKU. The second tool describes a scoring system that only includes items obtained from questionnaires in 44 people with AKU. Analysis of the data reveals distinct phases of the disease, a pre-ochronotic phase and an ochronotic phase. The ochronotic phase appears to demonstrate an earlier slower progression followed by a rapidly progressive phase. The rate of change of the disease will have implications for monitoring the course of the disease as well as decide on the most appropriate time that treatment should be started for it to be effective either in prevention or arrest of the disease.

PMID:
21748407
DOI:
10.1007/s10545-011-9374-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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