[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aldosterone is a mineralocorticoid steroid hormone, the measurement of which in the clinical laboratory is principally performed for the investigation of primary hyperaldosteronism. Primary hyperaldosteronism is a specifically treatable and potentially curable form of hypertension, which typically presents as drug-resistant hypertension and, in up to 37 % of cases, hypokalemia. Accurate measurement of aldosterone concentration is essential for correct diagnosis. The serum concentrations of aldosterone are in the picomolar range and therefore sensitive aldosterone assays are required. With the advancement in instrumentation of LC-MS/MS, the picomolar range of aldosterone can be easily measured by the newer models, but for those with a less sensitive instrument, special technique for sample preparation to enhance assay sensitivity is required. This work described the use of charge-tagging for the picomolar measurement of serum aldosterone in a less sensitive LC-MS/MS instrument. The assay was linear up to 3000 pmol/L with lower limit of quantitation at 80 pmol/L. The mean relative recovery was 96.5 % with a range of 89.3-101.6 % for aqueous calibrators and the mean relative recovery was 94.8 % with a range of 87.5-101.4 % for serum calibrators. Intra-assay CVs range from 8.2 % to 11.3 %, and inter-assay CVs ranged from 8.5 % to 13.5 % at concentration range from 229 to 1720 pmol/L. The LC-MS/MS method compared well (y = 1.04x + 8.97) with the in-use radioimmunoassay method. There was no significant difference found (p = 0.7135) between results determined by LC-MS/MS and radioimmunoassay method.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carnitine palmitoyltransferase II (CPT II) deficiency is one of the most common disorders of oxidative fatty acid metabolism. In this disorder, long chain acylcarnitines cannot be converted to acyl CoA and there is impairment of β-oxidation of fatty acids.
In the 3 distinct clinical subtypes of CPT II deficiency, adult onset myopathic form shows mild clinical manifestations, characterized by recurrent rhabdomyolysis after intense physical stress. In this study, we report a case with adult myopathic form of CPT II deficiency presenting recurrent exercise-induced myoglobinuria.
The acylcarnitine profile showed characteristic CPTII deficiency profile and sequencing of the CPT2 gene showed 2 novel missense mutations p. H369Q and p G497S.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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 methodsA 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.ResultsThe 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.
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Clinical biochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Diagnostic molecular pathology: the American journal of surgical pathology, part B
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency, one of the pediatric neurotransmitter disorders, is classically made with plasma enzyme level or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurotransmitter profile, while both are technically demanding and the latter requires the invasive lumbar puncture. So far less than 100 cases have been reported worldwide with 20% from Taiwan. It was postulated that the condition might have been under-diagnosed among Chinese populations and a non-invasive screening tool should be developed in areas with high prevalence.
Urine metabolic profiles performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in a 31-month period were retrospectively reviewed: those with vanilmandelic acid concentration lower than one percentile plus the presence of 3-o-methyldopa were defined as positive and the patients were further evaluated.
Among 1046 metabolic profiles (from 845 patients) reviewed, 3 profiles from 2 patients were screened positive: both cases had compatible CSF neurotransmitter profiles and the diagnosis was further confirmed by genetic analysis of DDC gene. 13 negative urinary metabolic profiles from 7 patients who had CSF neurotransmitters analyzed were identified as controls: all 7 CSF neurotransmitter profiles were not compatible for AADC deficiency.
The GC-MS-based urine metabolic profiling was shown to be a satisfactory screening tool for AADC deficiency. Further confirmation can be performed by mutation analysis in the DDC gene, thus avoiding risks of lumbar puncture. We advocate all ethnic Chinese patients presenting with dystonia have their urine organic acids analyzed before proceeding to CSF neurotransmitters analysis.
No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza-associated encephalopathy (IAE) is a potentially fatal neurological complication of influenza infection usually in the presence of high and persistent fever. Thermolabile carnitine palmitoyltransferase II enzyme (CPT-II) predisposes IAE, so far only described in Japanese. As the genetic origins of Japanese and Chinese are alike, similar genetic risk factors in CPT-II are expected. We report the first two unrelated Chinese patients of thermolabile CPT-II variants that underlain the persistent high fever-triggered viral infection-associated encephalopathy, multi-organ failure and death. Elevated (C16:0+C18:1)/C2 acylcarnitines ratio and the CPT2 susceptibility variant allele [p.Phe352Cys; p.Val368Ile] were detected. The asymptomatic family members of one patient also had abnormal long-chain acylcarnitines. In our experience of biochemical genetics, the elevated (C16:0+C18:1)/C2 acylcarnitines ratio is unusual and specific for thermolabile CPT-II variants. Allele frequency of [p.Phe352Cys; p.Val368Ile] among Hong Kong Chinese was 0.104, similar to Japanese data, and [p.Phe352Cys] has not been reported in Caucasians. This may explain the Asian-specific phenomenon of thermolabile CPT-II-associated IAE. We successfully demonstrated the thermolabile CPT-II variants in patients with viral infection-associated encephalopathy in another Asian population outside Japanese. The condition is likely under-recognized. With our first cases, it is envisaged that more cases will be diagnosed in subsequent years. The exact pathogenic mechanism of how other factors interplay with thermolabile CPT-II variants and high fever leading to IAE, is yet to be elucidated. Fasting and decreased intake during illness may aggravate the disease. Further studies including high risk and neonatal screening are warranted to investigate its expressivity, penetrance and temperature-dependent behaviors in thermolabile CPT-II carriers. This may lead to discovery of the therapeutic golden window by aggressive antipyretics and L-carnitine administration in avoiding the high mortality and morbidity of IAE.
No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data of classical inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) of amino acids, organic acids and fatty acid oxidation are largely lacking in Hong Kong, where mass spectrometry-based expanded newborn screening for IEM has not been initiated. The current study aimed to evaluate the approximate incidence, spectrum and other characteristics of classical IEM in Hong Kong, which would be important in developing an expanded newborn screening program for the local area.
The laboratory records of plasma amino acids, plasma acylcarnitines and urine organic acids analyses from year 2005 to 2009 inclusive in three regional chemical pathology laboratories providing biochemical and genetic diagnostic services for IEM were retrospectively reviewed.
Among the cohort, 43 patients were diagnosed of IEM, including 30 cases (69%) of amino acidemias (predominantly citrin deficiency, hyperphenylalaninemia due to 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase deficiency and tyrosinemia type I), 5 cases (12%) of organic acidemias (predominantly holocarboxylase synthetase deficiency) and 8 cases (19%) of fatty acid oxidation defects (predominantly carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase deficiency). The incidence of classical IEM in Hong Kong was roughly estimated to be at least 1 case per 4122 lives births, or 0.243 cases per 1000 live births. This incidence is similar to those reported worldwide, including the mainland of China. The estimated incidence of hyperphenylalaninemia was 1 in 29 542 live births.
Our data indicate that it is indisputable for the introduction of expanded newborn screening program in Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong is a metropolitan city, a comprehensive expanded newborn screening program and referral system should be available to serve the neonates born in the area.
Preview · Article · Apr 2011 · Chinese medical journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glutaric aciduria type II, or multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, is a rare metabolic disorder inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. The condition can be caused by mutations in at least 3 genes, including ETFA, ETFB, and ETFDH. When this potentially lethal disorder is known for its clinical and biochemical heterogeneity, mutation analysis will be an invaluable part of diagnosis. We here described a Chinese adolescent boy who enjoyed good health earlier and presented at the age of 14 years with severe vomiting. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he succumbed shortly after. With a travel history before presentation and the late age of onset, diagnosis was particularly difficult. Findings in perimortem biochemical investigations and postmortem autopsy were guiding but not diagnostic. The diagnosis of glutaric aciduria type II was finally confirmed by mutation analysis performed by direct sequencing on genomic DNA from peripheral blood, which identified 2 different unreported missense mutations, c.502G>T (p.V168F) and c.786A>G (p.Q262R), in ETFA. The father and the mother were found to be heterozygous for the 2 mutations in ETFA respectively. Subsequent molecular family screening also ruled out the disease in his elder sister, who had a history of convulsion and a suspicious plasma acylcarnitine profile, and freed her from life-long supplementation. The case showed that molecular autopsies should be part of routine postmortem examination of unexplained sudden death in all age groups and DNA-friendly samples should be routinely collected and archived. In the era of personalized medicine with the power of modern genetics, molecular diagnosis should be obtained for heterogeneous diseases with different genetic defects but sharing similar clinical and/or biochemical phenotypes.
No preview · Article · Sep 2010 · Diagnostic molecular pathology: the American journal of surgical pathology, part B
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) was applied to the direct analysis of melamine cyanurate (MC). The three commonly used MALDI matrixes, namely, alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA), sinapinic acid (SA), and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB), were able to desorb/ionize melamine from MC upon N(2) laser irradiation, with CHCA showing the highest detection sensitivity in the positive mode. Only DHB and SA were able to desorb/ionize cyanuric acid from MC in the negative mode but with remarkably lower sensitivity. The method is able to detect melamine unambiguously from a small amount of MC (down to 12.5 microg) spiked into urine and was successfully applied for the rapid and sensitive detection of melamine in urine stones/residues of the samples collected from patients clinically confirmed of having kidney stones associated with the consumption of melamine-tainted food products. The urine matrix resulted in interfering ion peaks and suppressed the ion intensity of melamine, while a cleanup process consisting of simply washing with water eliminated such interference and enhanced the ion intensity. The merit of the method is simplicity in sample preparation. The analytical time of the method for high-throughput analysis from the time of sample treatment to analysis is less than 7 minutes per sample, with sensitive detection of the presence of melamine in the urine stones/residues of the patient samples.
No preview · Article · May 2009 · Analytical Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cough mixture abuse has been reported to cause severe folate deficiency and neurological defects. We carried out a prospective case-controlled survey to confirm this association and define the incidence and severity of the problem. A total of 57 cough mixture abusers and 47 other substance abusers (controls) were studied. When compared with controls, cough mixture abusers had a high incidence of low folate levels that could only be detected by screening.