Elevated urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid levels of uracil and thymine in a child with dihydrothymine dehydrogenase deficiency

Clinica Chimica Acta; International Journal of Clinical Chemistry
J BakkerenW O Renier

Abstract

In the urine of a child with unexplained convulsions large amounts of uracil and thymine were detected by gas chromatography. Identification was performed by coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Quantitation of the urinary excretion by means of a sensitive high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method revealed a 1000-fold elevation compared to normal. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid levels of the two pyrimidine bases were about a hundred times higher than normal. In fibroblasts the activity of dihydrothymine dehydrogenase was determined by measuring the conversion of radioactive labelled thymine to dihydrothymine with HPLC of the reaction mixture. In the patient's cells a complete deficiency of dihydrothymine dehydrogenase activity was found. Our patient is the first case described with such a proven enzyme deficiency.

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