Mevalonate kinase deficiency and Dutch type periodic fever

Clin Exp Rheumatol. Jul-Aug 2000;18(4):525-32.


Dutch type periodic fever (DPF) is an autosomal recessive hereditary fever syndrome. Cases have been reported worldwide, the majority from France and The Netherlands. From infancy the patients suffer fever attacks that recur every 2-8 weeks, often precipitated by immunizations, infections or emotional stress. Fever lasts 2-7 days and can be accompanied by malaise, headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, skin rashes, arthralgia, arthritis, tender lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, and oral and genital ulcers. Laboratory evaluation during fever shows granulocytosis and elevated acute phase reactants. DPF is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme mevalonate kinase (MK). Besides DPF, the spectrum of MK deficiency includes a severe phenotype, mevalonic aciduria (MA). MA patients have less residual MK activity, leading to substantially higher urinary mevalonic acid excretion than in DPF. Mevalonic aciduria is characterized by mental retardation and dysmorphic features in addition to the clinical features of DPF. At the genomic level, several mutations of varying severity have been identified. The DPF phenotype is caused by one particular mild missense mutation. Most patients are compound heterozygotes for this mutation and a more severe mutation. The mechanism by which MK deficiency leads to fever is not understood. The vast majority of DPF patients have persistently elevated serum IgD and can be classified as having hyperimmunoglobulinemia D and periodic fever syndrome (HIDS). Conversely, most HIDS patients have MK deficiency and hence DPF, but the two disorders do not overlap entirely.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / enzymology*
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / genetics*
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / immunology
  • Humans
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / deficiency*
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / genetics*


  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • mevalonate kinase