Dietary Management, Clinical Status and Outcome of Patients with Citrin Deficiency in the UK

Nutrients. 2020 Oct 29;12(11):3313. doi: 10.3390/nu12113313.


Background: Little is known about the optimal dietary treatment for citrin deficiency. Our aim is to describe the management of UK citrin deficiency patients.

Methods: A longitudinal retrospective review was performed. Data were collected from medical records on presenting signs and symptoms, dietary management and clinical outcome.

Results: data were collected on 32 patients from 21 families. 50% were females (16/32). Median age at diagnosis was 4 y (5 days-35 y) with 12 patients diagnosed in the neonatal period with neonatal intrahepatic cholestasis (NICCD), eight later in childhood (FTTDCD) and 12 by family screening based on index cases from five families. No patient had adult-onset type II citrullinemia. The patient age at the time of data collection was a median of 11 y (1-44 y). 91% (29/32) of patients had normal physical and neurological development, 47% (15/32) experienced recurrent unexplained abdominal pain and 9% (3/32) episodes of hypoglycaemia. Siblings had different phenotypes (5 families had > 1 affected patient). Most patients preferred high protein foods, limiting sugar-containing foods. Only 41% (13/32) were prescribed a low CHO, high protein, high fat diet (restriction varied) and two used medium chain triglyceride (MCT) supplements. No patient was prescribed drug therapy. Twenty-five per cent (8/32) of patients were underweight and 41% (13/32) had height <-1 z-scores.

Conclusions: patients presented with various phenotypes, symptoms and suboptimal growth. Symptoms and biochemical markers improved with age, but height remained low in some. More research is necessary to assess the effectiveness of dietary approaches in improving clinical outcomes and symptoms in citrin deficiency.

Keywords: FTTDCD; NICCD; citrin deficiency; clinical status; dietary management; outcomes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Citrullinemia / blood
  • Citrullinemia / diet therapy*
  • Citrullinemia / physiopathology
  • Diet, High-Fat / methods*
  • Diet, High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate / methods*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Triglycerides

Supplementary concepts

  • Adult-onset citrullinemia type 2