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J Pediatr. 1986 Jan;108(1):13-8.

Recognition of medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency in asymptomatic siblings of children dying of sudden infant death or Reye-like syndromes.


The medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency of mitochondrial beta oxidation has been identified in two asymptomatic siblings in a family in which two previous deaths had been recorded, one attributed to sudden infant death syndrome and the other to Reye syndrome. Recognition of this disorder in one of the deceased and in the surviving siblings was accomplished by detection of a diagnostic metabolite, octanoylcarnitine, using a new mass spectrometric technique. This resulted in early treatment with L-carnitine supplement in the survivors, which should prevent metabolic deterioration. Further studies suggest that breast-feeding may be protective for infants with MCAD deficiency. Families with children who have had Reye syndrome or in which sudden infant death has occurred are at risk for MCAD deficiency. We suggest that survivors and asymptomatic siblings should be tested for this treatable disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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