Adult presentations of medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD)

J Inherit Metab Dis. 2009 Dec;32(6):675-683. doi: 10.1007/s10545-009-1202-0. Epub 2009 Oct 11.


Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD) is an autosomal recessive disorder of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation which is usually diagnosed in infancy or through neonatal screening. In the absence of population screening, adults with undiagnosed MCADD can be expected. This review discusses 14 cases that were identified during adulthood. The mortality of infantile patients is approximately 25% whereas in this adult case series it was shown it to be 50% in acutely presenting patients and 29% in total. Therefore, undiagnosed individuals are at risk of sudden fatal metabolic decompensation with high mortality. This review illustrates the need to consider the possibility of a fatty acid oxidation defect in an adult who presents with unexplained sudden clinical deterioration, particularly if precipitated by fasting or alcohol consumption. A history of unexplained sibling death may also raise the index of suspicion. There also needs to be appropriate clinical support for those patients identified clinically or as a result of family studies (sibling or parent).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase / deficiency*
  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism, Inborn Errors / diagnosis*
  • Lipid Metabolism, Inborn Errors / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult


  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase