Clinical and biochemical phenotype in 11 patients with mevalonic aciduria

Pediatrics. 1993 May;91(5):915-21.


Objective: Mevalonic aciduria is a consequence of the deficiency of mevalonate kinase, the first enzyme after 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase in the biosynthesis of cholesterol and nonsterol isoprenes. To establish the clinical and biochemical phenotype of mevalonic aciduria, the authors assembled their experience with 11 patients including attempts at therapeutic interventions.

Methods: Mevalonic acid in body fluids was determined by stable isotope dilution gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy with selected ion monitoring, ubiquinone-10 concentrations by reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography.

Results: Varying degrees of severity of clinical illness were observed despite uniform, virtual absence of residual activity of the enzyme. The most severely affected patients have had profound developmental delay, dysmorphic features, cataracts, hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, and anemia, as well as diarrhea and malabsorption, and have died in infancy. Less severely affected patients have had psychomotor retardation, hypotonia, myopathy, and ataxia. All patients have had recurrent crises in which there was fever, lymphadenopathy, increase in size of liver and spleen, arthralgia, edema, and a morbilliform rash. Neuroimaging studies revealed selective and progressive atrophy of the cerebellum. Mevalonic acid concentrations were found to be grossly elevated in body fluids of all patients. Concentrations of plasma cholesterol were normal or only slightly reduced. Concentrations of ubiquinone-10 in plasma were found to be decreased in most patients. Abnormalities such as hypoglycemia, metabolic acidosis, or lactic acidemia, the usual concomitants of disorders of organic acid metabolism, were conspicuously absent.

Conclusions: These observations establish the broad range of clinical symptoms and biochemical findings in mevalonic aciduria. It is concluded that although patients with mevalonic aciduria have a recognizable phenotype of serious clinical manifestations, some patients are likely to remain undiagnosed and may be found in a variety of subspecialty clinics, including neurology, gastroenterology, cardiology, and genetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / metabolism
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / therapy
  • Cerebellar Ataxia
  • Failure to Thrive
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Lovastatin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Mevalonic Acid / urine*
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)*
  • Phosphotransferases / deficiency*
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use


  • Lovastatin
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • mevalonate kinase
  • Mevalonic Acid
  • Prednisone