Early Liver Transplantation for Neonatal-Onset Methylmalonic Acidemia
With conventional dietary treatment, the clinical course of methylmalonic acidemia due to cobalamin-unresponsive methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MCM) deficiency is characterized by the persistent risk of recurrent life-threatening decompensation episodes with metabolic acidosis, hyperammonemia, and coma. Liver transplant has been proposed as an alternative treatment and anecdotally attempted in the last 2 decades with inconsistent results. Most criticisms of this approach have been directed at the continuing risk of neurologic and renal damage after transplant. Here, we report the perioperative and postoperative clinical and biochemical outcomes of 2 patients with severe MCM deficiency who underwent early liver transplant. In both cases, liver transplant allowed prevention of decompensation episodes, normalization of dietary protein intake, and a marked improvement of quality of life. No serious complications have been observed at 12 years’ and 2 years’ follow-up, respectively, except for mild kidney function impairment in the older patient. On the basis of our experience, we strongly suggest that liver transplant should be offered as a therapeutic option for children with cobalamin-unresponsive MCM deficiency at an early stage of the disease.
- Accepted April 6, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics