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Enzyme. 1987;38(1-4):242-50.

Treatment of urea cycle disorders.

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Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.


Recent advances in the treatment of inborn errors of urea synthesis have significantly decreased mortality. Treatment has included combining a high-quality low-protein diet with supplements of deficient metabolites and stimulation of alternate pathways of waste nitrogen excretion. Long-term alternate pathway therapy, using sodium benzoate and sodium phenylacetate, has generally been unassociated with signs of toxicity. However, acute intoxications have simulated hyperammonemic crises. Neurologic outcome appears to be primarily a function of duration of neonatal hyperammonemic coma, although ongoing accumulation of urea cycle intermediates may also play a role. Early recognition and treatment are critical if a good outcome is to be possible.

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