Publications by authors named "Colin G Steward"

31 Publications

Treatment of Barth Syndrome by Cardiolipin Manipulation (CARDIOMAN) With Bezafibrate: Protocol for a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trial Conducted in the Nationally Commissioned Barth Syndrome Service.

JMIR Res Protoc 2021 May 31;10(5):e22533. Epub 2021 May 31.

Bristol Trials Centre (Clinical Trials and Evaluation Unit), Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Background: Barth syndrome is a rare, life-threatening, X-linked recessive genetic disease that predominantly affects young males and is caused by abnormal mitochondrial lipid metabolism. Currently, there is no definitive treatment for Barth syndrome other than interventions to ameliorate acute symptoms, such as heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, neutropenia, and severe muscle fatigue. Previous mechanistic studies have identified the lipid-lowering drug bezafibrate as a promising potential treatment; however, to date, no human trials have been performed in this population.

Objective: The aim of this study is to determine whether bezafibrate (and resveratrol in vitro) will increase mitochondrial biogenesis and potentially modify the cellular ratio of monolysocardiolipin (MLCL) to tetralinoleoyl-cardiolipin (L4-CL), ameliorating the disease phenotype in those living with the disease.

Methods: The CARDIOMAN (Cardiolipin Manipulation) study is a UK single-center, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study investigating the efficacy of bezafibrate in participants with Barth syndrome. Treatment was administered in two 15-week phases with a minimum washout period of 1 month between the phases where no treatment was administered. The primary outcome is peak oxygen consumption (VO peak). Secondary outcomes include MLCL/L4-CL ratio and CL profile in blood cells, amino acid expression, phosphocreatine to adenosine triphosphate ratio in cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle oxidative function on phosphorus-31 magnetic resonance spectroscopy, quality of life using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory questionnaire, absolute neutrophil count, cardiac function and rhythm profiles at rest and during exercise, and mitochondrial organization and function assessments. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and during the final week of each treatment phase.

Results: A total of 12 patients were scheduled to participate across three consecutive research clinics between March and April 2019. In total, 11 participants were recruited, and the follow-up was completed in January 2020. Data analysis is ongoing, with publication expected in 2021.

Conclusions: This trial was approved by the United Kingdom National Research Ethics Service Committee and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The feasibility of the CARDIOMAN study will help to inform the future conduct of randomized controlled trials in rare disease populations as well as testing the efficacy of bezafibrate as a potential treatment for the disease and advancing the mechanistic understanding of Barth syndrome.

Trial Registration: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 58006579; https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN58006579.

International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/22533.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/22533DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8204243PMC
May 2021

Challenges in long-term control of hypercalcaemia with denosumab after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for osteoclast-poor autosomal recessive osteopetrosis.

Bone Rep 2021 Jun 2;14:100738. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Autosomal recessive osteopetrosis (ARO) is rare, involving increased bone density due to defective osteoclast differentiation or function, with several genetic subtypes.

Case: This child with compound heterozygous novel loss-of-function pathogenic variants causing osteoclast-poor ARO underwent haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) aged 3.1 years and experienced episodic severe hypercalcaemia over 2.5 years. She initially presented aged 8 months with craniosynostosis and visual impairment and underwent surgery; no increased bone density evident on skull imaging nor variants in genes associated with craniosynostosis identified. She was subsequently referred for investigation of poor linear growth and low alkaline phosphatase. Clinical abnormalities included asymmetric pectus carinatum, thickened anterior tibia and wrists, and markedly delayed dentition. Skeletal survey revealed generalised osteosclerosis with undertubulation.

Management: She received haploidentical HSCT aged 3.1 years and developed hypercalcaemia (adjusted calcium 4.09mmol/L = 16.4mg/dL) Day 18 post-HSCT, unresponsive to hyperhydration and diuretics. Denosumab achieved normocalcaemia, which required 0.6mg/kg every 6 weeks long-term. The ensuing 2.75 years feature full donor engraftment, good HSCT graft function, skeletal remodelling with 2.5 years recurrent severe hypercalcaemia and nine fragility long bone fractures.

Conclusion: This case illustrates challenges of bone and calcium management in ultrarare -related OP-ARO. Craniosynostosis was an early feature, evident pre-sclerosis in osteopetrosis. Following HSCT, restoration of osteoclast activity in the context of elevated bone mass produced severe and prolonged (2.5 years) hypercalcaemia. Denosumab was effective medium-term, but required concurrent long duration (11 months) zoledronic acid to manage recurrent hypercalcaemia. Fragility fractures brought appreciable additional morbidity in the post-HSCT phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bonr.2020.100738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7750151PMC
June 2021

Dynamic Cardiolipin Synthesis Is Required for CD8 T Cell Immunity.

Cell Metab 2020 12;32(6):981-995.e7

Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, 79108 Freiburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Mitochondria constantly adapt to the metabolic needs of a cell. This mitochondrial plasticity is critical to T cells, which modulate metabolism depending on antigen-driven signals and environment. We show here that de novo synthesis of the mitochondrial membrane-specific lipid cardiolipin maintains CD8 T cell function. T cells deficient for the cardiolipin-synthesizing enzyme PTPMT1 had reduced cardiolipin and responded poorly to antigen because basal cardiolipin levels were required for activation. However, neither de novo cardiolipin synthesis, nor its Tafazzin-dependent remodeling, was needed for T cell activation. In contrast, PTPMT1-dependent cardiolipin synthesis was vital when mitochondrial fitness was required, most notably during memory T cell differentiation or nutrient stress. We also found CD8 T cell defects in a small cohort of patients with Barth syndrome, where TAFAZZIN is mutated, and in a Tafazzin-deficient mouse model. Thus, the dynamic regulation of a single mitochondrial lipid is crucial for CD8 T cell immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2020.11.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7721104PMC
December 2020

Targeted busulfan-based reduced-intensity conditioning and HLA-matched HSCT cure hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

Blood Adv 2020 05;4(9):1998-2010

Department of Immunology. Hematology, Oncology and SCT, University Children's Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.

Reduced-intensity/reduced-toxicity conditioning and allogeneic T-cell replete hematopoietic stem cell transplantation are curative in patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Unstable donor chimerism (DC) and relapses are clinical challenges . We examined the effect of a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen based on targeted busulfan to enhance myeloid DC in HLH. The European Society for Bone and Marrow Transplantation-approved reduced-intensity conditioning protocol comprised targeted submyeloablative IV busulfan, IV fludarabine, and serotherapy comprising IV alemtuzumab (0.5-0.8 mg/kg) for unrelated-donor and IV rabbit anti-T-cell globulin for related-donor transplants. We assessed toxicity, engraftment, graft-versus-host disease (GHVD), DC in blood cell subtypes, and overall survival/event-free survival. Twenty-five patients from 7 centers were treated (median age, 0.68 year). The median total dose and cumulative area under the curve of busulfan was 13.1 mg/kg (6.4-26.4) and 63.1 mg/L × h (48-77), respectively. Bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cell, or cord blood transplants from HLA-matched related (n = 7) or unrelated (n = 18) donors were administered. Donor cells engrafted in all patients (median: neutrophils d+20/platelets d+28). At last follow-up (median, 36 months; range, 8-111 months), the median DC of CD15+ neutrophils, CD3+ T cells, and CD16+56+ natural killer cells was 99.5% (10-100), 97% (30-100), and 97.5% (30-100), respectively. Eight patients (32%) developed sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, resolving after defibrotide treatment. The 3-year overall survival and event-free survival rates were both 100%. None of the patients developed acute grade III to IV GHVD. Limited chronic GVHD was encountered in 4%. This regimen achieves excellent results with stable DC in patients with HLH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001748DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7218427PMC
May 2020

Relapse of Aplastic Anemia with Majority Donor Chimerism (Donor-Type Aplasia) Occurring Late after Bone Marrow Transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 03 13;26(3):480-485. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

There have been sporadic reports of the development of delayed disease recurrence after bone marrow transplantation for severe aplastic anemia despite sustained majority or full donor chimerism. This is termed "donor-type aplasia" (DTA). We describe the management and outcome of 11 pediatric patients from 8 institutions in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East who developed DTA at a mean of 35 months post-transplant. These patients were initially transplanted at a mean age of 10.0 years (range, 5.8 to 16.0 years), 9 from matched sibling donors and 2 from matched unrelated donors. Attempts to treat DTA with varying combinations of additional immunosuppression (including intravenous immunoglobulin, donor lymphocyte infusions, stem cell boosts, and other therapies) failed. Ten patients have received a conditioned second transplant, 9 from the same donor and 1 from a new matched unrelated donor. Aplasia has resolved in the remaining patient in response to ongoing eltrombopag therapy. All patients were alive at a mean of 92 months (range, 26 to 195) after a second transplant; 6 are in complete remission, but 4 suffered from second/recurrent DTA at 16 to 129 months after retransplant and required further transplant therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.11.010DOI Listing
March 2020

Neutropenia in Barth syndrome: characteristics, risks, and management.

Curr Opin Hematol 2019 01;26(1):6-15

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Purpose Of Review: Barth syndrome (BTHS) is an X-linked disease characterized by defective remodeling of phospholipid side chains in mitochondrial membranes. Major features include neutropenia, dilated cardiomyopathy, motor delay and proximal myopathy, feeding problems, and constitutional growth delay. We conducted this review of neutropenia in BTHS to aid in the diagnosis of this disease, and to improve understanding of both the consequences of neutropenia and the benefits of treatment with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF).

Recent Findings: In 88 patients with BTHS, neutropenia, that is, at least one count below 1.5 × 10/l, was detected in 74 (84%) and 44% had severe chronic neutropenia, with multiple counts below 0.5 × 10/l. The pattern of neutropenia varied between intermittent and unpredictable, chronic and severe, or cyclical with mathematically regular oscillations. Monocytosis, that is, monocytes more than 1.0 × 10/l, was observed at least once in 64 of 85 (75%) patients. G-CSF was administered to 39 of 88 patients (44%). Weekly average G-CSF doses ranged from 0.12 to 10.92 μg/kg/day (mean 1.16 μg/kg/day, median 1.16 μg/kg/day). Antibiotic prophylaxis was additionally employed in 21 of 26 neutropenic patients. Pretreatment bone marrow evaluations predominantly showed reduced myeloid maturation which normalized on G-CSF therapy in seven of 13 examined. Consistent clinical improvement, with reduced signs and symptoms of infections, was observed in response to prophylactic G-CSF ± prophylactic antibiotics. However, despite G-CSF and antibiotics, one adult patient died with multiple infections related to indwelling medical devices and gastrostomy site infection after 15.5 years on G-CSF and a pediatric patient required gastrostomy removal for recurrent abdominal wall cellulitis.

Summary: BTHS should be considered in any men with neutropenia accompanied by any of the characteristic features of this syndrome. Prophylaxis with G-CSF ± antibiotics prevents serious bacterial infections in the more severe neutropenic patients although infections remain a threat even in patients who are very compliant with therapy, especially in those with indwelling devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MOH.0000000000000472DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6392059PMC
January 2019

A scoring system predicting the clinical course of CLPB defect based on the foetal and neonatal presentation of 31 patients.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2017 11 7;40(6):853-860. Epub 2017 Jul 7.

Department of Pediatrics, Salzburger Landeskliniken and Paracelsus Medical University, Müllner-Hauptstraße 48, 5020, Salzburg, Austria.

Recently, CLPB deficiency has been shown to cause a genetic syndrome with cataracts, neutropenia, and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. Surprisingly, the neurological presentation ranges from completely unaffected to patients with virtual absence of development. Muscular hypo- and hypertonia, movement disorder and progressive brain atrophy are frequently reported. We present the foetal, peri- and neonatal features of 31 patients, of which five are previously unreported, using a newly developed clinical severity scoring system rating the clinical, metabolic, imaging and other findings weighted by the age of onset. Our data are illustrated by foetal and neonatal videos. The patients were classified as having a mild (n = 4), moderate (n = 13) or severe (n = 14) disease phenotype. The most striking feature of the severe subtype was the neonatal absence of voluntary movements in combination with ventilator dependency and hyperexcitability. The foetal and neonatal presentation mirrored the course of disease with respect to survival (current median age 17.5 years in the mild group, median age of death 35 days in the severe group), severity and age of onset of all findings evaluated. CLPB deficiency should be considered in neonates with absence of voluntary movements, respiratory insufficiency and swallowing problems, especially if associated with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria, neutropenia and cataracts. Being an important differential diagnosis of hyperekplexia (exaggerated startle responses), we advise performing urinary organic acid analysis, blood cell counts and ophthalmological examination in these patients. The neonatal presentation of CLPB deficiency predicts the course of disease in later life, which is extremely important for counselling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-017-0057-zDOI Listing
November 2017

Diagnosing haemophagocytic syndrome.

Arch Dis Child 2017 Mar 24;102(3):279-284. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

Department of Paediatric Rheumatology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK.

Haemophagocytic syndrome, or haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), is a hyperinflammatory disorder characterised by uncontrolled activation of the immune system. It can result from mutations in multiple genes involved in cytotoxicity or occur secondary to a range of infections, malignancies or autoimmune rheumatic diseases. In the latter case, it is also known as macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). Characteristic features are persistent fever, hepatosplenomegaly, petechial/purpuric rash, progressive cytopenias, coagulopathy, transaminitis, raised C reactive protein, falling erythrocyte sedimentation rate, hypertriglyceridaemia, hypofibrinogenaemia and extreme hyperferritinaemia often associated with multi-organ impairment. Distinguishing HLH from systemic sepsis can present a major challenge. Criteria for diagnosis and classification of HLH and MAS are available and a serum ferritin >10 000 µg/L is strongly supportive of HLH. Without early recognition and appropriate treatment, HLH is almost universally fatal. However, with prompt referral and advancements in treatment over the past two decades, outcomes have greatly improved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2016-310772DOI Listing
March 2017

Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Cardiomyopathy in Barth Syndrome: The UK Experience.

Pediatr Cardiol 2016 Jan 4;37(1):167-76. Epub 2015 Sep 4.

Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Paul O'Gorman Building, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol, BS2 8BJ, UK.

Barth syndrome (BTHS) is an X-linked disorder characterised by cardiomyopathy, neutropenia, skeletal myopathy and growth delay. This study describes the UK national clinical experience and outcome of cardiomyopathy in BTHS. The clinical course and echocardiographic changes of all patients with BTHS in the UK were reviewed from 2004 to 2014. In addition, strain analysis using 2D speckle tracking echocardiography was performed to further assess left ventricular function in the most recent follow-up. At last follow-up, 22 of 27 patients were alive with a median age of 12.6 (2.0-23.8) years; seven underwent cardiac transplantation at a median age of 2 (0.33-3.6) years, and five died (18.5%) at a median age of 1.8 (0.02-4.22) years. All deaths were related to cardiomyopathy or its management. Left ventricular diastolic dimension and systolic function measured by fractional shortening tended to normalise and stabilise after the first 3 years of life in the majority of patients. However, patients with BTHS (n = 16) had statistically significant reduction in global longitudinal and circumferential strain compared to controls (n = 18), (p < 0.001), despite apparent normal conventional measures of function. There was also reduced or reversed apical rotation and reduced left ventricular twist. Sustained ventricular arrhythmia was not seen at follow-up. Cardiac phenotype in BTHS is variable; however, longer-term outcome in our cohort suggests good prognosis after the first 5 years of life. Most patients appeared to have recovered near normal cardiac function by conventional echocardiographic measures, but strain analysis showed abnormal myocardial deformation and rotational mechanics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00246-015-1260-zDOI Listing
January 2016

Similar outcome of upfront-unrelated and matched sibling stem cell transplantation in idiopathic paediatric aplastic anaemia. A study on behalf of the UK Paediatric BMT Working Party, Paediatric Diseases Working Party and Severe Aplastic Anaemia Working Party of EBMT.

Br J Haematol 2015 Nov 28;171(4):585-94. Epub 2015 Jul 28.

Department of Haematology & Bone Marrow Transplantation, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

We explored the feasibility of unrelated donor haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) upfront without prior immunosuppressive therapy (IST) in paediatric idiopathic severe aplastic anaemia (SAA). This cohort was then compared to matched historical controls who had undergone first-line therapy with a matched sibling/family donor (MSD) HSCT (n = 87) or IST with horse antithymocyte globulin and ciclosporin (n = 58) or second-line therapy with unrelated donor HSCT post-failed IST (n = 24). The 2-year overall survival in the upfront cohort was 96 ± 4% compared to 91 ± 3% in the MSD controls (P = 0·30) and 94 ± 3% in the IST controls (P = 0·68) and 74 ± 9% in the unrelated donor HSCT post-IST failure controls (P = 0·02).The 2-year event-free survival in the upfront cohort was 92 ± 5% compared to 87 ± 4% in MSD controls (P = 0·37), 40 ± 7% in IST controls (P = 0·0001) and 74 ± 9% in the unrelated donor HSCT post-IST failure controls (n = 24) (P = 0·02). Outcomes for upfront-unrelated donor HSCT in paediatric idiopathic SAA were similar to MSD HSCT and superior to IST and unrelated donor HSCT post-IST failure. Front-line therapy with matched unrelated donor HSCT is a novel treatment approach and could be considered as first-line therapy in selected paediatric patients who lack a MSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.13614DOI Listing
November 2015

Cardiolipin fingerprinting of leukocytes by MALDI-TOF/MS as a screening tool for Barth syndrome.

J Lipid Res 2015 Sep 5;56(9):1787-94. Epub 2015 Jul 5.

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sensory Organs, University of Bari "A. Moro", Bari, Italy.

Barth syndrome (BTHS), an X-linked disease associated with cardioskeletal myopathy, neutropenia, and organic aciduria, is characterized by abnormalities of card-iolipin (CL) species in mitochondria. Diagnosis of the disease is often compromised by lack of rapid and widely available diagnostic laboratory tests. The present study describes a new method for BTHS screening based on MALDI-TOF/MS analysis of leukocyte lipids. This generates a "CL fingerprint" and allows quick and simple assay of the relative levels of CL and monolysocardiolipin species in leukocyte total lipid profiles. To validate the method, we used vector algebra to analyze the difference in lipid composition between controls (24 healthy donors) and patients (8 boys affected by BTHS) in the high-mass phospholipid range. The method of lipid analysis described represents an important additional tool for the diagnosis of BTHS and potentially enables therapeutic monitoring of drug targets, which have been shown to ameliorate abnormal CL profiles in cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1194/jlr.D059824DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4548783PMC
September 2015

A severe systemic presentation of pigmented villonodular synovitis in a child with underlying Chediak-Higashi syndrome.

J Pediatr Orthop B 2015 Nov;24(6):526-9

aUniversity of Bristol Medical School bDepartment of Orthopaedics cDepartment of Radiology dBone Marrow Transplant Unit, Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol eDepartment of Paediatrics, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, UK fSection of Experimental Anaesthesiology, Ulm University, Germany.

Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS), a condition of synovial hyperproliferation that mostly affects large joints, is rare in children and conventionally lacks systemic symptoms. This report describes a complex paediatric patient who underwent bone marrow transplantation to control the accelerated phase of the Chediak-Higashi syndrome. Diffuse PVNS developed in one knee 2.75 years later. Progression of PVNS was accompanied by the development of severe systemic symptoms, which resolved rapidly following subtotal surgical debridement. The patient remains well with minimal elevation of inflammatory marker levels 10.5 years later. As PVNS and Chediak-Higashi syndrome are both very rare diseases we propose a potential unifying hypothesis for this combination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPB.0000000000000190DOI Listing
November 2015

Lobar Collapse and Obliteration of Air Bronchogram Allowing Early Diagnosis of Endobronchial Aspergillus Infection following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Case Rep Radiol 2014 10;2014:715073. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

School of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK ; Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Royal Hospital for Children, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol BS2 8BJ, UK.

Endobronchial fungal infection (EBFI) is notoriously difficult to diagnose early since it may present few systemic features and does not cause characteristic parenchymal lesions on lung CT scanning. We report a 9-year-old girl who suffered extended neutropenia following graft failure after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for severe aplastic anaemia. CT scan prior to retransplantation was normal despite persistent cough but lobar collapse was shown on repeat scan 16 days later. The probable diagnosis of EBFI (later proven on bronchoscopy) was only suspected when subsequent chest X-ray (CXR) demonstrated lack of an air bronchogram in the partially collapsed lung. Early radiological suspicion resulted in multiagent antifungal therapy followed by delayed lobectomy, and led to this being the first reported case of Aspergillus EBFI not to result in respiratory failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/715073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4276688PMC
January 2015

Barth syndrome without tetralinoleoyl cardiolipin deficiency: a possible ameliorated phenotype.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2015 Mar 12;38(2):279-86. Epub 2014 Aug 12.

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, BS2 8HW, UK,

Barth syndrome (BTHS) is an X-linked disorder characterised by cardiac and skeletal myopathy, growth delay, neutropenia and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria (3-MGCA). Patients have TAZ gene mutations which affect metabolism of cardiolipin, resulting in low tetralinoleoyl cardiolipin (CL(4)), an increase in its precursor, monolysocardiolipin (MLCL), and an increased MLCL/CL(4) ratio. During development of a diagnostic service for BTHS, leukocyte CL(4) was measured in 156 controls and 34 patients with genetically confirmed BTHS. A sub-group of seven subjects from three unrelated families was identified with leukocyte CL(4) concentrations within the control range. This had led to initial false negative disease detection in two of these patients. MLCL/CL(4) in this subgroup was lower than in other BTHS patients but higher than controls, with no overlap between the groups. TAZ gene mutations in these families are all predicted to be pathological. This report describes the clinical histories of these seven individuals with an atypical phenotype: some features were typical of BTHS (five have had cardiomyopathy, one family has a history of male infant deaths, three have growth delay and five have 3-MGCA) but none has persistent neutropenia, five have excellent exercise tolerance and two adults are asymptomatic. This report also emphasises the importance of measurement of MLCL/CL(4) ratio rather than CL(4) alone in the biochemical diagnosis of the BTHS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-014-9747-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341014PMC
March 2015

Odontoid infiltration and spinal compression in Farber Disease: reversal by haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Eur J Pediatr 2014 Oct 24;173(10):1399-403. Epub 2013 Jul 24.

Department of Paediatric Oncology and Haematology, Goethe University Frankfurt, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Theodor-Stern-Kai 5, 60590, Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

Farber disease (FD) is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by accumulation of ceramide in various organs and tissues, most notably the central nervous system, subcutaneous tissues and respiratory tract. We report a girl who developed major destructive bone involvement, which affected the odontoid process and produced spinal compression at 9 years of age. Bone involvement was proven histologically but resolved, as assessed by serial MRI scanning, following matched unrelated donor haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This transplant resulted in only partial donor chimerism (less than 10 % donor cells in peripheral blood), yet this was sufficient to almost normalize acid ceramidase levels in leukocytes and to produce dramatic improvements in subcutaneous nodules and joint mobility as well as the beneficial effect on the involved bone. Unfortunately, the transplant was rejected after 2 years but the patient was rescued from an aplastic state by successful haploidentical peripheral blood stem cell transplantation and remained a full donor chimera without recurrence of the bone involvement and with steadily improving mobility at the age of 17 years. We describe an FD patient who presented with severe destruction of the odontoid by inflammatory tissue which was reversed after long-term control achieved by allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. After extensive literature search, we believe that this is the first report of bony involvement in Farber disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-013-2098-0DOI Listing
October 2014

Congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia (CAMT) presenting as severe pancytopenia in the first month of life.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013 Sep 26;60(9):E94-6. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK.

Congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia (CAMT) is characterised by neonatal thrombocytopenia, with reduced or absent bone marrow megakaryocytes, leading eventually to pancytopenia. The mean age for progression to bone marrow failure is four years, with the earliest reported being six months. We describe a CAMT patient with compound heterozygous mutations of the causative MPL gene (one being a previously unreported splice site mutation in intron 11) who developed pancytopenia within the first month of life. This report emphasises the importance of considering CAMT in the differential diagnosis of congenital aplastic anaemia or idiopathic aplastic anaemia in babies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.24566DOI Listing
September 2013

Barth syndrome.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2013 Feb 12;8:23. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

NHS Specialised Services Barth Syndrome Service, Royal Hospital for Children, Upper Maudlin St, Bristol, BS2 8BJ, UK.

First described in 1983, Barth syndrome (BTHS) is widely regarded as a rare X-linked genetic disease characterised by cardiomyopathy (CM), skeletal myopathy, growth delay, neutropenia and increased urinary excretion of 3-methylglutaconic acid (3-MGCA). Fewer than 200 living males are known worldwide, but evidence is accumulating that the disorder is substantially under-diagnosed. Clinical features include variable combinations of the following wide spectrum: dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), endocardial fibroelastosis (EFE), left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC), ventricular arrhythmia, sudden cardiac death, prolonged QTc interval, delayed motor milestones, proximal myopathy, lethargy and fatigue, neutropenia (absent to severe; persistent, intermittent or perfectly cyclical), compensatory monocytosis, recurrent bacterial infection, hypoglycaemia, lactic acidosis, growth and pubertal delay, feeding problems, failure to thrive, episodic diarrhoea, characteristic facies, and X-linked family history. Historically regarded as a cardiac disease, BTHS is now considered a multi-system disorder which may be first seen by many different specialists or generalists. Phenotypic breadth and variability present a major challenge to the diagnostician: some children with BTHS have never been neutropenic, whereas others lack increased 3-MGCA and a minority has occult or absent CM. Furthermore, BTHS was first described in 2010 as an unrecognised cause of fetal death. Disabling mutations or deletions of the tafazzin (TAZ) gene, located at Xq28, cause the disorder by reducing remodeling of cardiolipin, a principal phospholipid of the inner mitochondrial membrane. A definitive biochemical test, based on detecting abnormal ratios of different cardiolipin species, was first described in 2008. Key areas of differential diagnosis include metabolic and viral cardiomyopathies, mitochondrial diseases, and many causes of neutropenia and recurrent male miscarriage and stillbirth. Cardiolipin testing and TAZ sequencing now provide relatively rapid diagnostic testing, both prospectively and retrospectively, from a range of fresh or stored tissues, blood or neonatal bloodspots. TAZ sequencing also allows female carrier detection and antenatal screening. Management of BTHS includes medical therapy of CM, cardiac transplantation (in 14% of patients), antibiotic prophylaxis and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) therapy. Multidisciplinary teams/clinics are essential for minimising hospital attendances and allowing many more individuals with BTHS to live into adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1750-1172-8-23DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583704PMC
February 2013

Successful mechanical circulatory support for 251 days in a child with intermittent severe neutropenia due to Barth syndrome.

Pediatr Transplant 2013 Mar 28;17(2):E46-9. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Pediatric Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK.

Barth syndrome is an X-linked recessive disorder that is characterized by cardiomyopathy, variable neutropenia, skeletal myopathy, growth delay, and organic aciduria. The cardiac involvement typically results in a high risk of severe heart failure in infancy or early childhood. While Berlin Heart EXCOR is widely accepted as ventricular assistance in pediatric patients with end-stage cardiac failure, infections remain a frequent and potentially severe complication. Therefore, the extended use of the device in the setting of intermittent or severe neutropenia is challenging. We present the case of a three-yr child with Barth syndrome who was bridged successfully to transplant with a Berlin Heart EXCOR assist device for eight months (251 days) without major infectious complication, despite several episodes of severe neutropenia. This case demonstrates that prolonged mechanical circulatory support for a patient with neutropenia is feasible without important morbidity, with careful monitoring and a multidisciplinary approach. G-CSF provides an excellent support in managing neutropenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.12027DOI Listing
March 2013

Diagnosis of Barth syndrome using a novel LC-MS/MS method for leukocyte cardiolipin analysis.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2013 Sep 30;36(5):741-6. Epub 2012 Oct 30.

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Bristol Royal Infirmary, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol BS2 8HW, UK.

Barth syndrome (BTHS) is an X-linked disorder characterised by cardiomyopathy, skeletal myopathy, growth retardation, neutropenia and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. It is caused by mutations in the TAZ gene which codes for tafazzin, a protein with acyl transferase activity involved in synthesis of cardiolipin. Monolysocardiolipin (MLCL) is an intermediate in this process. Diagnosis of BTHS is difficult, as clinical and biochemical features are variable and numerous TAZ mutations have been described. These factors, together with lack of a straightforward diagnostic test are thought to have contributed to under-diagnosis of the condition. A novel method for cardiolipin analysis by reversed-phase ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) is reported which is less complicated and faster than previously described methods and uses a readily available sample type. The equipment, reagents and expertise required are found in most clinical laboratories performing metabolic investigations. Leukocytes were prepared from whole blood, phospholipids extracted and tetralinoleyl cardiolipin (CL4) and MLCL analysed by UPLC-MS/MS. Reference values were derived from analysis of 76 control and 23 BTHS samples as follows: CL4 in controls >132 (95 % CI 100-169), BTHS <30.2 (21.3-40.4) pmol/mg protein; MLCL/CL4 ratio in controls <0.006 (0.004-0.009) and >2.52 (1.51-4.22) in BTHS patients. We describe an improved method for CL4 and MLCL/CL4 analysis which can be incorporated into the routine work of a clinical biochemistry laboratory. It shows 100 % sensitivity and specificity for BTHS, making it a suitable diagnostic test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-012-9552-4DOI Listing
September 2013

The Barth Syndrome Registry: distinguishing disease characteristics and growth data from a longitudinal study.

Am J Med Genet A 2012 Nov 8;158A(11):2726-32. Epub 2012 Oct 8.

Department of Cardiology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Barth syndrome (BTHS); MIM accession # 302060) is a rare X-linked recessive cardioskeletal mitochondrial myopathy with features of cardiomyopathy, neutropenia, and growth abnormalities. The objectives of this study were to further elucidate the natural history, clinical disease presentation, and course, and describe growth characteristics for males with BTHS. Patients with a confirmed genetic diagnosis of BTHS are referred to the BTHS Registry through the Barth Syndrome Foundation, self-referral, or physician referral. This study is based on data obtained from 73 subjects alive at the time of enrollment that provided self-reported and/or medical record abstracted data. The mean age at diagnosis of BTHS was 4.04 ± 5.45 years. While the vast majority of subjects reported a history of cardiac dysfunction, nearly 6% denied any history of cardiomyopathy. Although most subjects had only mildly abnormal cardiac function by echocardiography reports, 70% were recognized as having cardiomyopathy in the first year of life and 12% have required cardiac transplantation. Of the 73 enrolled subjects, there have been five deaths. Growth curves were generated demonstrating a shift down for weight, length, and height versus the normative population with late catch up in height for a significant percentage of cases. This data also confirms a significant number of patients with low birth weight, complications in the newborn period, failure to thrive, neutropenia, developmental delay of motor milestones, and mild learning difficulties. However, it is apparent that the disease manifestations are variable, both over time for an individual patient and across the BTHS population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.35609DOI Listing
November 2012

Successful cord blood transplantation in a patient with malignant infantile osteopetrosis and hemophilia.

Pediatr Transplant 2013 Feb 23;17(1):E20-4. Epub 2012 Aug 23.

Division of Hematology, CHOC Children's Hospital, Orange, CA 92868, USA.

MIOP is a congenital disorder of osteoclast differentiation or dysfunction. Inadequate bone resorption by osteoclasts results in a spectrum of complications including hypocalcemia, osteosclerosis, marrow failure, extramedullary hematopoiesis, hydrocephalus, visual deficits, and eventual mortality. Early diagnosis and timely HCT is a recommended treatment approach for select patients prior to the development of end-organ damage. A comorbid bleeding disorder presents a unique challenge in the setting of MIOP and cord blood HCT given the additional risk factors for bleeding including delayed engraftment, a high risk of developing sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, and potential need for emergent invasive procedures. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a patient with an autosomal recessive form of MIOP who successfully underwent a cord blood HCT complicated by the presence of mild hemophilia A and HCT-related complications including delayed engraftment, sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, and need for multiple invasive procedures (e.g., ventriculostomy, tracheostomy) without clinically significant bleeding. Given the underlying diagnosis of MIOP and need for HCT, the challenge of mitigating the significant risk of bleeding in a patient with a comorbid bleeding disorder is discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-3046.2012.01758.xDOI Listing
February 2013

Shwachman-Diamond syndrome: a complex case demonstrating the potential for misdiagnosis as asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy (Jeune syndrome).

BMC Pediatr 2012 May 3;12:48. Epub 2012 May 3.

Department of Paediatric Haematology, Oncology & BMT, Royal Hospital for Children, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Upper Maudlin St, Bristol, BS2 8BJ, UK.

Background: The differential diagnosis of a neonate or fetus presenting with a bell-shaped or long narrow thorax includes a wide range of bony dysplasia syndromes. Where this is accompanied by respiratory distress, asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy (ATD, Jeune syndrome) is an important potential diagnosis. Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) is widely recognised as a cause of exocrine pancreatic dysfunction, short stature and bone marrow failure. It is not so well appreciated that rib and/or thoracic cage abnormalities occur in 30-50% of patients and that, in severe cases, these abnormalities may lead to thoracic dystrophy and respiratory failure in the newborn. There are, however, at least three previous case reports of children who were initially diagnosed with ATD who were subsequently shown to have SDS.

Case Presentation: This report details the case history of a patient misdiagnosed as having ATD as a neonate following the neonatal asphyxial death of her brother. She subsequently developed progressive pancytopenia but was only diagnosed with SDS at 11 years of age after referral for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for bone marrow failure accompanied by trilineage dysplasia and clonal cytogenetic abnormalities on bone marrow examination. Subsequent testing revealed the presence of fat globules in stools, reduced faecal chymotrypsin, fat-soluble vitamin deficiency, metaphyseal dysplasia on skeletal survey and heterozygous mutations of the SBDS gene.

Conclusion: This report highlights the potential for diagnostic confusion between ATD and SDS. It is important to include SDS in the differential diagnosis of newborns with thoracic dystrophy and to seek expert clinical and radiological assessment of such children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2431-12-48DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3457858PMC
May 2012

Mutations in GATA2 cause primary lymphedema associated with a predisposition to acute myeloid leukemia (Emberger syndrome).

Nat Genet 2011 Sep 4;43(10):929-31. Epub 2011 Sep 4.

Medical Genetics Unit, Biomedical Sciences, St. George's University of London, London, UK.

We report an allelic series of eight mutations in GATA2 underlying Emberger syndrome, an autosomal dominant primary lymphedema associated with a predisposition to acute myeloid leukemia. GATA2 is a transcription factor that plays an essential role in gene regulation during vascular development and hematopoietic differentiation. Our findings indicate that haploinsufficiency of GATA2 underlies primary lymphedema and predisposes to acute myeloid leukemia in this syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.923DOI Listing
September 2011

X-linked lymphoproliferative disease due to SAP/SH2D1A deficiency: a multicenter study on the manifestations, management and outcome of the disease.

Blood 2011 Jan 6;117(1):53-62. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Center of Immunodeficiency, Molecular Immunology Unit, Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom.

X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP1) is a rare immunodeficiency characterized by severe immune dysregulation and caused by mutations in the SH2D1A/SAP gene. Clinical manifestations are varied and include hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), lymphoma and dysgammaglobulinemia, often triggered by Epstein-Barr virus infection. Historical data published before improved treatment regimens shows very poor outcome. We describe a large cohort of 91 genetically defined XLP1 patients collected from centers worldwide and report characteristics and outcome data for 43 patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) and 48 untransplanted patients. The advent of better treatment strategies for HLH and malignancy has greatly reduced mortality for these patients, but HLH still remains the most severe feature of XLP1. Survival after allogeneic HSCT is 81.4% with good immune reconstitution in the large majority of patients and little evidence of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease. However, survival falls to 50% in patients with HLH as a feature of disease. Untransplanted patients have an overall survival of 62.5% with the majority on immunoglobulin replacement therapy, but the outcome for those untransplanted after HLH is extremely poor (18.8%). HSCT should be undertaken in all patients with HLH, because outcome without transplant is extremely poor. The outcome of HSCT for other manifestations of XLP1 is very good, and if HSCT is not undertaken immediately, patients must be monitored closely for evidence of disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-06-284935DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3374620PMC
January 2011

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for osteopetrosis.

Authors:
Colin G Steward

Pediatr Clin North Am 2010 Feb;57(1):171-80

Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Walk, Bristol, BS8 1TD, UK.

Osteopetrosis is the generic name for a group of diseases caused by deficient formation or function of osteoclasts, inherited in either autosomal recessive or dominant fashion. Osteopetrosis varies in severity from a disease that may kill infants to an incidental radiological finding in adults. It is increasingly clear that prognosis is governed by which gene is affected, making detailed elucidation of the cause of the disease a critical component of optimal care, including the decision on whether hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is appropriate. This article reviews the characteristics and management of osteopetrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pcl.2009.11.006DOI Listing
February 2010

Very long chain fatty acid levels in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2009 Dec 13;15(12):1525-7. Epub 2009 Nov 13.

Department of Neurology, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, UK.

In clinical practice it is not uncommon for patients with adrenomyeloneuropathy or female carriers of adrenoleucodystrophy to have a presenting history and examination compatible with multiple sclerosis. This suggests that there may be an under-diagnosis of adrenoleucodystrophy and its variants in the multiple sclerosis population. We measured levels of very long chain fatty acids, which are typically elevated in the plasma of patients with adrenoleucodystrophy, in a large cohort of patients diagnosed clinically with multiple sclerosis. We tested serum samples from patients with either a first degree relative with multiple sclerosis or those with a primary progressive phenotype. No elevations in very long chain fatty acids were found in the cohort. This study suggests that the number of cases of adrenomyeloneuropathy or adrenoleucodystrophy amongst patients diagnosed clinically with multiple sclerosis is likely to be extremely low. This has important diagnostic implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458509351731DOI Listing
December 2009

Cardiolipin and monolysocardiolipin analysis in fibroblasts, lymphocytes, and tissues using high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry as a diagnostic test for Barth syndrome.

Anal Biochem 2009 Apr 31;387(2):230-7. Epub 2009 Jan 31.

Laboratory Genetic Metabolic Diseases, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Barth syndrome (BTHS) is an X-linked recessive disorder caused by mutations in the tafazzin (or TAZ) gene and is clinically characterized by (cardio)myopathy, neutropenia, and growth abnormalities. Biochemical abnormalities include decreased levels of the mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin, increased levels of monolysocardiolipin, and a lower degree of unsaturation of the (monolyso)cardiolipin acyl chains. Diagnostic testing for BTHS is routinely performed by TAZ gene sequencing, and recently a BTHS screening method in bloodspots has been developed, but both methods have important limitations. Because a validated confirmatory method is not yet available, we set up and validated a high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) method for BTHS in cultured fibroblasts, lymphocytes, and skeletal muscle based on cardiolipin, monolysocardiolipin, and the monolysocardiolipin/cardiolipin ratio. In addition, we performed retrospective analysis of 121 muscle samples of patients with myopathy of which mitochondrial origin was presumed, and we identified one patient with cardiolipin abnormalities similar to BTHS patients. Molecular analysis revealed a bona fide mutation in the TAZ gene. We conclude that (monolyso)cardiolipin analysis by HPLC-MS not only is a powerful tool to diagnose patients with clinical signs and symptoms of BTHS but also should be used in patients suffering from mitochondrial myopathies with unknown etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2009.01.032DOI Listing
April 2009

Bloodspot assay using HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry for detection of Barth syndrome.

Clin Chem 2008 Feb 10;54(2):371-8. Epub 2007 Dec 10.

Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Amsterdam, Laboratory Genetic Metabolic Diseases, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Barth syndrome (BTHS) is a serious X-linked, metabolic, multisystem disorder characterized by cardiomyopathy, neutropenia, myopathy, and growth delay. Because early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are of key importance for the survival of affected boys, we developed a biochemical BTHS screening method based on analysis of the monolysocardiolipin:cardiolipin ratio in bloodspots.

Methods: We performed chloroform/methanol extraction on quarter-inch punches of dried bloodspots on Guthrie cards from BTHS patients and controls. Extracts were dried (60 degrees C, N(2)) and reconstituted in CHCl(3)/methanol/H(2)O [50:45:5 vol/vol/vol, 0.1% NH(3) (25%)]. HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry analysis was performed with a normal-phase HPLC column and multiple reaction monitoring transitions for monolysocardiolipin (MLCL) and cardiolipin (CL) with a total run time of 10 min. The ratio of MLCL and CL was used as screening parameter.

Results: All BTHS patients (n = 31) had monolysocardiolipin:cardiolipin ratios >0.40 and all controls (n = 215) had monolysocardiolipin:cardiolipin ratios <0.23. Using a cutoff point of 0.30, a blind test of 206 samples (199 controls, 7 BTHS) had sensitivity and specificity of 100%. Bloodspots could be stored at 4 degrees C or room temperature for >1 year without affecting the test outcome. Three neonatal Guthrie cards of BTHS patients taken 3.6 to 5.8 years previously were correctly identified as positive for BTHS.

Conclusions: HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of dried bloodspots is an unambiguous screening test for BTHS with potential for rapid screening of neonates suspected of having BTHS, making remote and retrospective diagnosis accessible for a disease that is almost certainly underdiagnosed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2007.095711DOI Listing
February 2008

Haploidentical stem cell transplantation for children with acute leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2006 Jul;134(2):196-201

BMT Unit, Bristol Children's Hospital, United Bristol Healthcare Trust, Bristol, UK.

Some children with relapsed or high-risk acute leukaemia have an improved outcome if they have an allogeneic stem cell transplant, preferably from a sibling or well-matched unrelated donor. However, some children do not have these options or there is an urgent need to proceed to transplant because of disease status. We have investigated the role of haploidentical family members as donors in 34 patients with acute leukaemia (median age 11 years, range 1-16 years). Patients were conditioned with cyclophosphamide and total body irradiation (14.4 Gy in eight fractions) and received T-cell depleted peripheral blood stem cell grafts with a median CD34 cell dose of 13.8 x 10(6)/kg (range 4.2-35.1) and 0.7 x 10(4) CD3-positive cells/kg. The actuarial survival at 2 years was 26% (13-41%, 95% CI). Eight patients have survived disease-free with a median follow up of 62 months. They have good performance status and a median lymphocyte count of 1.8 x 10(9)/l. Relapse (14 patients) and adenoviral (six patients) or fungal infections (four patients) were the major causes of death. Haploidentical stem cell transplantation can produce medium term disease-free survival in a proportion of children with high-risk or relapsed acute leukaemia. None of the nine patients with acute myeloid leukaemia not in remission have survived.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2006.06140.xDOI Listing
July 2006
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