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Turk Pediatri Ars. 2016 Dec 1;51(4):204-209. doi: 10.5152/TurkPediatriArs.2016.3759. eCollection 2016 Dec.

Clinical, molecular, and genetic evaluation of galactosemia in Turkish children.

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Clinic of Pediatrics, Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey.



Galactosemia is a carbohydrate metabolism disorder with autosomal recessive inheritance. The most frequent enzyme deficiency is galactose-1-phosphate-uridylytransferase, which causes classic galactosemia. When the enzyme is absent, an infant cannot metabolize galactose-1-phosphate and it cumulates in liver, kidney, brain, tongue, lens, and skin. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical and molecular characteristics of patients with galactosemia, which is observed more frequently in our country than anywhere else in the world.


This is a retrospective study that includes the moleculer and genetic charcteristics of 14 patient who were diagnosed as having galactosemia between January 2009 and January 2011.


Nine patients were male and 5 female. Consanguineous marriage was detected in the family history of 7 patients. One patient had a history of a deceased sibling with a confirmed diagnosis of galactosemia. The main reasons for admission to the hospital were jaundice in 9, hypoglycemia in 2, sepsis in 2, and elevated liver enzymes in 1 patient. The Beutler test was positive in all patients. The mean enzyme activity was 0.36±0.26 μmol/mL. Only 6 of our cases were diagnosed in the early period (first 15 days). Cataract was present in four patients. Q188R mutation was observed in 13 patients, and homozygote N314D and homozygote E340X mutations were observed in one patient. Three patients had impaired neurologic development according to the Denver Developmental Screening Test II.


The most common genetic abnormality was Q188R mutation. Only 43% of our patients's disease could be diagnosed at an early stage. We suggest that galactosemia should be included in the national newborn screening program in order to make earlier diagnoses.


Galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase deficiency; galactosemia; newborn screening

Conflict of interest statement

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.

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