Late-onset urea cycle disorder in adulthood unmasked by severe malnutrition.

Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.)

PubMedID: 24985015

Wells DL, Thomas JB, Sacks GS, Zouhary LA. Late-onset urea cycle disorder in adulthood unmasked by severe malnutrition. Nutrition. 2014;30(7-8):943-7.
Urea cycle disorders (UCDs) most often involve inherited deficiencies in genes that code for enzymes normally used by the urea cycle to breakdown nitrogen. UCDs lead to serious metabolic complications, including severe neurologic decompensation related to hyperammonemia. Although the majority of UCDs are revealed soon after birth, stressful events in adulthood can lead to unmasking of a partial, late-onset UCDs. In this report, we describe a late-onset UCD unmasked by severe malnutrition. Early, specialized nutrition therapy is a fundamental aspect of treating hyperammonemic crises in patients with UCD. The case presented here demonstrates the importance of early recognition of UCD and appropriate interventions with nutrition support.