Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency: genotype-biochemical phenotype correlations

Mol Genet Metab. 2006 Jan;87(1):32-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2005.09.020. Epub 2005 Nov 15.


The fatty acid oxidation disorder most commonly identified by tandem mass spectrometry newborn screening is the potentially fatal medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCAD). In clinically presenting cases, 80% are homozygous for the common mutation, c.985A > G and 18% heterozygous. We screened 592,785 babies and identified 34 with MCAD, 17 homozygous for c.985A > G, 14 with one copy, and 3 with no copy. We sequenced the exons of 19 patients, the 17 carrying one or no copy of c.985A > G, and two with marginal findings, and examined correlations between groups of mutations and biochemical markers. We found two known or putative pathogenic mutations in 18 of the 19 patients. Two mutations appeared more than once: c.199T > C, not recorded in clinically presenting cases (n = 4), and c.583G > A (n = 2). Patients homozygous for c.985A > G had the highest levels of neonatal octanoylcarnitine, plasma octanoylcarnitine when asymptomatic, and urinary acylglycines. Compound heterozygotes of c.985A > G and other mutations had intermediate levels, and those without c.985A > G, or heterozygous for that and c.199T > C had the lowest levels of these analytes. There was overlap in all values. The c.985A > G and c.583G > A mutations appear to have functional effects towards the severe end of the spectrum, and the c.199T > C mutation a smaller effect, as has been previously postulated. If these results are confirmed and extended, this could influence the advice given to parents of babies with MCAD detected by newborn screening, and make management more specific. In the meantime, all MCAD patients identified by newborn screening have, by definition, a functional defect and require careful clinical management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase / deficiency*
  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Carnitine / analogs & derivatives
  • Carnitine / blood
  • Carnitine / genetics
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Fibroblasts
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / genetics
  • Glycine / urine
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Phenotype
  • Statistics as Topic


  • acylcarnitine
  • N-caproylglycine
  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase
  • Carnitine
  • Glycine