The presenting symptoms and clinical course of 2 cases of intermittent maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) are described. Intermittent MSUD is a potentially life-threatening metabolic disorder caused by a deficiency of branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase, the enzyme complex that decarboxylates the 3 branched-chain amino acids. In contrast to classic MSUD, children with the intermittent form show normal development with normal intelligence and, when asymptomatic, normal levels of branched-chain amino acids. Symptoms usually appear between 5 months and 2 years of age, when a trivial infection such as otitis media or viral gastroenteritis triggers catabolism of muscle protein. Intermittent MSUD should be suspected in cases of common infections with a clinically atypical course, especially in children displaying ataxia or marked drowsiness.
- BCKD —
- branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase
- MSUD —
- maple syrup urine disease
- Accepted July 23, 2013.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics