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Enzyme. 1987;38(1-4):80-90.

Hyperketotic states due to inherited defects of ketolysis.

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Départments de Pédiatrie et d'Investigation Métabolique, Hôpital des Enfants-Malades, Paris, France.


From the description of 2 unrelated patients with succinyl-CoA transferase (3-OAT) deficiency and 1 patient with acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase (AAT) deficiency, we have attempted to draw the clinical and metabolic consequences of such defects. The association of recurrent attacks of severe ketoacidosis with blood glucose levels generally high or normal, low lactacidemia and low ammonemia is the most common presentation of these disorders. In 3-OAT deficiency, a potentially fatal disorder, there is a permanent ketosis with the only excretion of 3-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate and 3-hydroxyisovalerate. AAT patients usually excrete, in addition to the usual ketone bodies, 2-methyl-3-hydroxybutyrate and tiglylglycine; 2-methyl-acetoacetate may also be present. Both conditions can be identified by enzymatic analysis in cultured fibroblast. These disorders can mimic diabetic ketoacidosis or salicylism and can easily be missed. The knowledge of these ketolytic defects must severely question the complacent diagnosis of 'fasting ketoacidosis' or 'idiopathic ketotic hypoglycemia', mainly when severe metabolic acidosis is present.

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