m.8993T>G-Associated Leigh Syndrome with Hypocitrullinemia on Newborn Screening

JIMD Rep. 2014:17:47-51. doi: 10.1007/8904_2014_332. Epub 2014 Sep 21.


Citrulline is among the metabolites measured by expanded newborn screening (NBS). While hypocitrullinemia can be a marker for deficiency of proximal urea cycle enzymes such as ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC), only a handful of state newborn screening programs in the United States officially report a low citrulline value for further work-up due to low positive predictive value. We report a case of a male infant who was found to have hypocitrullinemia on NBS. After excluding proximal urea cycle disorders by DNA sequencing, his NBS result was felt to be a false positive. At 4 months of age, he developed poor feeding, failure to thrive, apnea and infantile spasms with a progression to intractable seizures, as well as persistent hypocitrullinemia. He was diagnosed with Leigh syndrome due to a maternally inherited homoplasmic m.8993T>G mutation in the ATPase 6 gene. His mother, who had previously been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, was concurrently diagnosed with neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa (NARP) due to heteroplasmy of the same mutation. She had progressive muscle weakness, ataxia, and speech dyspraxia. The m.8993T>G mutation causes mitochondrial ATP synthase deficiency and it is hypothesized to undermine the synthesis of citrulline by CPS1. In addition to proximal urea cycle disorders, the evaluation of an infant with persistent hypocitrullinemia should include testing for the m.8993T>G mutation and other disorders that cause mitochondrial dysfunction.