Carnitine palmitoyltransferase II deficiency with a focus on newborn screening

J Hum Genet. 2019 Feb;64(2):87-98. doi: 10.1038/s10038-018-0530-z. Epub 2018 Dec 4.


Carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) II deficiency is one of the most common forms of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation disorder. Its clinical phenotypes are classified into the muscle, severe infantile, and lethal neonatal forms. Among Caucasians, the muscle form predominates, and the c.338C > T (p.S113L) variant is detected in most cases, whereas among the Japanese, c.1148T > A (p.F383Y) is the variant allele occurring with the highest frequency and can apparently cause symptoms of the severe infantile form. Newborn screening (NBS) for this potentially fatal disease has not been established. We encountered an infantile case of CPT II deficiency not detected in NBS using C16 and C18:1 concentrations as indices, and therefore we adopted the (C16 + C18:1)/C2 ratio as an alternative primary index. As a result, the disease was diagnosed in nine of 31 NBS-positive subjects. The values for (C16 + C18:1)/C2 in the affected newborns partly overlapped with those in unaffected ones. Among several other indices proposed previously, C14/C3 has emerged as a more promising index. Based on these findings, nationwide NBS for CPT II deficiency using both (C16 + C18:1)/C2 and C14/C3 as indices was officially approved and started in April 2018. We diagnosed the disease in four young children presenting with symptoms of the muscle form, whose values for the new indices were not elevated. Although it is still difficult to detect all cases of the muscle form of CPT II deficiency in NBS, our system is expected to save many affected children in Japan with the severe infantile form predominating.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase / deficiency*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / diagnosis*
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / enzymology
  • Neonatal Screening / methods*
  • Prognosis


  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase

Supplementary concepts

  • Carnitine palmitoyl transferase 2 deficiency