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Original research
Evaluation of the clinical, biochemical, genotype and prognosis of mut-type methylmalonic acidemia in 365 Chinese cases


Background Methylmalonic acidemia (MMA), which results from defects in methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (mut type) or its cofactor, is the most common inherited organic acid metabolic disease in China. This study aimed to investigate the phenotype and genotype of mut-type MMA in Chinese patients.

Methods We recruited 365 patients with mut-type MMA; investigated their disease onset, newborn screening (NBS) status, biochemical metabolite levels, gene variations and prognosis; and explored the relationship between phenotype and genotype.

Results There were 152 patients diagnosed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) expanded NBS, 209 patients diagnosed because of disease onset without NBS and 4 cases diagnosed because of sibling diagnosis. The median age of onset was 15 days old, with a variety of symptoms without specificity. Urinary levels of methylmalonic acid and methylcitric acid (MCA) decreased after treatment. Regarding the prognosis, among the 152 patients with NBS, 50.6% were healthy, 30.3% had neurocognitive impairment and/or movement disorders and 13.8% died. Among the 209 patients without NBS, 15.3% were healthy, 45.9% had neurocognitive impairment and/or movement disorders and 33.0% died. In total, 179 variants were detected in the MMUT gene, including 52 novel variations. c.729_730insTT, c.1106G>A, c.323G>A, c.914T>C and c.1663G>A were the five most frequent variations. The c.1663G>A variation led to a milder phenotype and better prognosis.

Conclusion There is a wide spectrum of variations in the MMUT gene with several common variations. Although the overall prognosis of mut-type MMA was poor, participation in MS/MS expanded NBS, vitamin B12 responsive and late onset are favourable factors for the prognosis.

  • mutation
  • neonatal screening
  • paediatrics
  • phenotype
  • genotype

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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