Comparative frequency and severity of hypoglycemia in selected organic acidemias, branched chain amino acidemia, and disorders of fructose metabolism

Brain Dev. 1994 Nov:16 Suppl:81-5. doi: 10.1016/0387-7604(94)90100-7.


The Institution's experience with hypoglycemia in different types of organic acidemias, branched chain amino acidemia (MSUD), and disorders of fructose metabolism was reviewed retrospectively. The charts of 144 patients who were followed for 1-5 years were studied for the severity and frequency of hypoglycemia. The patients were mainly Saudi; however, 10-25% were from neighboring countries. Therefore, the observations pertain to the genetic groups in the Arabian peninsula. Organic acidemias which primarily manifest with neurologic signs, such as 4-hydroxybutyric aciduria, infantile onset 3-methylglutaconic aciduria, and glutaric aciduria type 1 never showed hypoglycemia. Patients with beta-ketothiolase deficiency, biotinidase deficiency, or intermittent or intermediate MSUD, also did not have hypoglycemia during metabolic crisis. Hypoglycemia was rare and mild among neonates with classic MSUD, ethylmalonic aciduria, and isovaleric acidemia. Less than 50% of the patients with MSUD older than 8 months, pyruvate carboxylase deficiency, methylmalonic acidemia, or propionic acidemia had hypoglycemia during metabolic crisis. On the other hand, patients with 3-hydroxy-3-methyl glutaryl-CoA lyase deficiency, holocarboxylase synthetase deficiency, medium or long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, neonatal onset 3-methylglutaconic aciduria, glutaric aciduria type 2, and disorders of fructose metabolism invariably had moderate-to-severe hypoglycemia associated with metabolic crisis. The purpose of this report is to provide the pediatrician, particularly in the Middle East, with a diagnostic guideline to the identification and management of different types of organic acidemias, based on co-existing hypoglycemia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis / urine
  • Amino Acid Metabolism, Inborn Errors / epidemiology*
  • Amino Acid Metabolism, Inborn Errors / physiopathology
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fructose Metabolism, Inborn Errors / epidemiology*
  • Fructose Metabolism, Inborn Errors / physiopathology
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology*
  • Hypoglycemia / physiopathology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / epidemiology*
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology


  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain
  • Blood Glucose