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Hui J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yuen Y.-P.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Chow C.-M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Chong J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | And 7 more authors.
World Journal of Pediatrics | Year: 2013

Background: Recent studies presented a contradictory approach for the investigation of pediatric patients with an isolated increase in alanine transaminase. While classical teaching advised for a thorough investigation, recent studies suggested the yield on further investigation was low and thus not necessary. Yet the approach to the same clinical problem may need to be different due to variable disease prevalence rates among different ethnic populations. For the population with a higher prevalence rate of genetic liver diseases like Wilson's disease, an abnormal liver function may be the first presenting feature for some patients. Methods: We reviewed 10 Chinese children with Wilson's disease who were diagnosed at a presymptomatic stage because of an isolated persistent elevation of alanine transaminase. Results: All 10 patients did not have overt symptoms of liver impairment or neurological deficit. They were picked up incidentally with an abnormal liver function test. All patients were started on treatment shortly after diagnosis, and they remained well and symptom-free on the latest follow-up. Conclusions: This case series illustrated that an isolated persistent elevation of alanine transaminase is an important clue to the early diagnosis of pre-symptomatic Wilson's disease. It is particularly relevant in the Asian population where the disease is more prevalent. © 2013 Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Mak C.M.,Kowloon West Cluster Laboratory Genetic Service | Lam C.-W.,University of Hong Kong | Chim S.,Queen Mary Hospital | Siu T.-S.,Queen Mary Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Biochemistry | Year: 2013

Objectives: Tyrosinemia type I is an autosomal recessive disorder in tyrosine metabolism. In areas without expanded newborn screening, patients present with acute hepatorenal failure in early infancy. Diagnosis can be elusive when clinical presentation is non-specific and biochemical abnormalities are masked by secondary changes. This is the first Hong Kong Chinese report. Design and methods: A two-month-old Chinese male infant with unremarkable antenatal and postnatal history presented with progressive abdominal distension for three days. He suffered from end-stage liver failure, hypoglycemia and hepatic encephalopathy. Diagnostic work-up was complicated starting from rule-out sepsis, intestinal obstruction, volvulus, peritonitis, septic ileus, poisoning to metabolic diseases. Clinical, biochemical and genetic data was described. Results: The patient showed increases in multiple plasma amino acids including tyrosine, phenylalanine and methionine, and hyper-excretions of 4-hydroxyphenyl-acetate, -pyruvate, and -lactate, as well as N-acetyltyrosine which could be seen in liver failure due to both tyrosinemia type I and non-metabolic conditions. Because of the volatile nature, succinylacetone was almost undetectable. The diagnosis was confirmed by genetic analysis of FAH with two novel mutations, viz. NM_000137.2:c.1063-1G>A and NM_000137.2:c.1035_1037del. Living-related liver transplantation was done. However, the patient still suffered many complications after the severe metabolic insult with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral atrophy, global developmental delay and cortical visual impairment. Conclusions: Because of the lack of expanded newborn screening in Hong Kong, this child unfortunately presented in the most severe form of tyrosinemia type I. Expanded newborn screening can save life and reduce the burden of diagnostic complexity. This illustrates the need for expanded newborn screening in Hong Kong. © 2012 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists.


Cheung K.M.,Caritas Medical Center | Lam C.W.,University of Hong Kong | Chan Y.K.,Caritas Medical Center | Siu W.K.,Kowloon West Cluster Laboratory Genetic Service | Yong L.,Caritas Medical Center
Hong Kong Medical Journal | Year: 2014

A macrocephalic girl presented with generalised epilepsy due to focal cortical dysplasia. She later developed multiple hamartomatous lesions and was diagnosed to have Cowden syndrome. The diagnosis was confirmed by identification of a novel frameshift mutation in the PTEN gene of the patient.


Siu W.-K.,Kowloon West Cluster Laboratory Genetic Service | Mak C.M.,Kowloon West Cluster Laboratory Genetic Service | Siu S.L.-Y.,Tuen Mun Hospital | Siu T.-S.,Queen Mary Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Diagnostic Molecular Pathology | Year: 2012

Very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) deficiency is one of the most common fatty acid oxidation defects that cause sudden unexpected deaths in infants. The death attributed to VLCAD deficiency can be prevented by early diagnosis with expanded newborn screening using tandem mass spectrometry. A favorable outcome can be achieved with early diagnosis and prompt treatment. However, such newborn screening has not yet been available in Hong Kong. We report a 2-month-old boy who succumbed 5 hours after admission with the diagnosis of VLCAD deficiency confirmed by genetic analysis performed after death. The patient was compound heterozygous for a novel splicing mutation ACADVL NM-000018.2:c.277+2T>G; NC-000017.10:g.7123997T>G and a known disease-causing mutation ACADVL NM-000018.2:c.388-390del; NP-000009.1: p.Glu130del. Family screening was performed for at-risk siblings. The rapid downhill course of the patient clearly illustrates the need of newborn screening for early diagnosis. Our patient was asymptomatic before metabolic decompensation. However, once metabolic decompensation occurred, rapid deterioration and death followed, which obviated the opportunity to diagnose and treat. The only way to save these patients' lives and improve their outcome is early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Therefore, we strongly urge the implementation of newborn screening using tandem mass spectrometry for VLCAD deficiency and other highly treatable inborn errors of metabolism in Hong Kong. Copyright © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Mak C.M.,Kowloon West Cluster Laboratory Genetic Service | Ko C.-H.,Caritas Medical Center | Lam C.-W.,University of Hong Kong | Lau W.-L.,Caritas Medical Center | And 6 more authors.
Chinese Medical Journal | Year: 2011

Hyperphenylalaninemia is one of the commonest inborn errors of metabolism affecting approximately 1 in 15 000 live births. Among Chinese, BH4 deficiency leading to hyperphenylalaninemia is much commoner than in Caucasians. Exact diagnosis is important for the treatment and genetic counseling. In 2000, newborn screening for phenylketonuria is mandatory by law in China throughout the whole country. However, it is not yet included in the newborn screening program of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. Published data on hyperphenylalaninemia among Hong Kong Chinese are largely lacking. We report a 1-year-old Hong Kong Chinese girl with severe 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase (PTPS) deficiency. The patient presented with infantile hypotonia and was misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy. She had very mild hyperphenylalaninemia (95 μmol/L), significantly high phenylalnine-to-tyrosine ratio (3.1), and elevated prolactin of 1109 mIU/L. Genetic analysis confirmed a homozygous known disease-causing mutation PTS NM_000317.1: c.259C>T; NP_000308.1: p.P87S in the proband. In our local experience, while the estimated prevalence of hyperphenylalaninemia due to PTPS deficiency was reported to be 1 in 29 542 live births, not a single case of phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency has been reported. Furthermore, there is a general lack of awareness of inherited metabolic diseases in the community as well as among the medical professionals. Very often, a low index of clinical suspicion will lead to delay in diagnosis, multiple unnecessary and costly investigations, prolonged morbidity and anxiety to the family affected. We strongly recommend that expanded newborn screening for hyperphenylalaninemia should be implemented for every baby born in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.

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