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Brain Dev. 2012 Oct;34(9):746-9. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2012.01.012. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Congenital abnormalities in Japanese patients with Menkes disease.

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Department of Health Policy, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan.


Menkes disease (MNK) is an X-linked recessive disorder. Incidence of live-born infants with MNK is 2.8 per million live births in Japan. The aim of this study was to observe congenital malformations (CMs) in MNK patients. Subjects comprised 35 Japanese male patients with classical MNK who received copper histidine treatment. Patient clinical data were obtained anonymously from medical records or medical record summaries by pediatrician's retrospective review through a survey. We observed 21 different CMs in 14 patients. Eight of these had a single CM, while six had multiple CMs. The most frequent CM was higher arched palate with other CMs found in five patients. There was no relationship between CMs and mutations in the ATP7A gene. Using Mann-Whitney U tests, age at death was also significantly lower in MNK patients with CMs (P<0.05), compared to those without CMs, even though there was no significant difference of age onset, age at diagnosis and age at start of treatment with copper histidine between both groups of patients. Sudden death occurred in three MNK patients with CMs only: two with congenital heart disease, and one with microphallus.

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