Publications by authors named "Luisa Bonafe"

94 Publications

Non-coding deletions identify Maenli lncRNA as a limb-specific En1 regulator.

Nature 2021 04 10;592(7852):93-98. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration, Center for Molecular Medicine, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) can be important components in gene-regulatory networks, but the exact nature and extent of their involvement in human Mendelian disease is largely unknown. Here we show that genetic ablation of a lncRNA locus on human chromosome 2 causes a severe congenital limb malformation. We identified homozygous 27-63-kilobase deletions located 300 kilobases upstream of the engrailed-1 gene (EN1) in patients with a complex limb malformation featuring mesomelic shortening, syndactyly and ventral nails (dorsal dimelia). Re-engineering of the human deletions in mice resulted in a complete loss of En1 expression in the limb and a double dorsal-limb phenotype that recapitulates the human disease phenotype. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis in the developing mouse limb revealed a four-exon-long non-coding transcript within the deleted region, which we named Maenli. Functional dissection of the Maenli locus showed that its transcriptional activity is required for limb-specific En1 activation in cis, thereby fine-tuning the gene-regulatory networks controlling dorso-ventral polarity in the developing limb bud. Its loss results in the En1-related dorsal ventral limb phenotype, a subset of the full En1-associated phenotype. Our findings demonstrate that mutations involving lncRNA loci can result in human Mendelian disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03208-9DOI Listing
April 2021

Chondrodysplasia and growth failure in children after early hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for non-oncologic disorders.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 02 4;185(2):517-527. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Division of Genetic Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Bone dysplasias (osteochondrodysplasias) are a large group of conditions associated with short stature, skeletal disproportion, and radiographic abnormalities of skeletal elements. Nearly all are genetic in origin. We report a series of seven children with similar findings of chondrodysplasia and growth failure following early hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for pediatric non-oncologic disease: hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis or HLH (five children, three with biallelic HLH-associated variants [in PRF1 and UNC13D] and one with HLH secondary to visceral Leishmaniasis), one child with severe combined immunodeficiency and one with Omenn syndrome (both children had biallelic RAG1 pathogenic variants). All children had normal growth and no sign of chondrodysplasia at birth and prior to their primary disease. After HSCT, all children developed growth failure, with standard deviation scores for height at or below -3. Radiographically, all children had changes in the spine, metaphyses and epiphyses, compatible with a spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia. Genomic sequencing failed to detect pathogenic variants in genes associated with osteochondrodysplasias. We propose that such chondrodysplasia with growth failure is a novel, rare, but clinically important complication following early HSCT for non-oncologic pediatric diseases. The pathogenesis is unknown but could possibly involve loss or perturbation of the cartilage-bone stem cell population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62021DOI Listing
February 2021

Osteogenesis imperfecta: towards an individualised interdisciplinary care strategy to improve physical activity and quality of life.

Swiss Med Wkly 2020 Jun 6;150:w20285. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Paediatric Orthopaedic Unit, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Background: This report describes a new strategy for the care of patients with osteogenesis imperfecta, based on an interdisciplinary team working. Thereby, we aim at fulfilling three main goals: offering thorough coordinated management for all, and improving physical activity and quality of life of the patients.

Aim: With rare diseases such as osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), patients and their family often suffer from inadequate recognition of their disease, poor care coordination and incomplete information. A coordinated interdisciplinary approach is one possible solution for providing both comprehensive and cost-effective care, with benefits for patient satisfaction. Poor physical activity and impaired quality of life represent a considerable burden for these patients. To better address these issues, in 2012 we created an interdisciplinary team for the management of OI patients in our University Hospital Centre (CHUV, Lausanne University Hospital,). In this article we describe the implementation of this interdisciplinary care strategy for patients suffering from OI, and its impact on their physical activity and quality of life.

Methods: All patients from the French part of Switzerland were invited to join us. We proposed two complementary evaluations: the initial interdisciplinary evaluation and a yearly follow-up during a special day – the “OI day”. This day features specialised medical appointments adapted to each patient’s needs, as well as lectures and/or workshops dedicated to patients’ and families’ education. Our first aim was to propose for each patient the same management, from diagnosis to the bone health evaluation and physical therapy advice. Our second aim was to evaluate the evolution of physical activity, quality of life (measured by EQ-5D, SF-36 and a dedicated questionnaire) and satisfaction of patients and their families. Here we report both the initial and the long-term results.

Results: Since 2012, 50 patients from the French part of Switzerland received the personalised medical evaluation. All of the patients included in this study had the same initial evaluation and at least one participation in an OI Day. All patients had an adaptation of their bone acting drugs. Over a 7-year period, 62% of inactive patients started some physical activity, and 44% of patients who were not involved in any athletic activity started participating in sports. The mean EQ-5D increased from 0.73 to 0.75 (p = 0.59). The mean physical SF36 (musculoskeletal function) score was 59.09 ± 22.72 and improved to 65.79 ± 21.51 (p = 0.08), whereas it was 68.06 ± 20.05 for the mental SF36 without alteration during follow-up. The OI day was revealed to be useful, it contributed to improvement in continuity of care and helped families to better understand the OI patients’ health.

Conclusions: Our interdisciplinary approach aimed at offering the same thorough management for all patients from the French part of Switzerland, and at improving both the physical activity and the satisfaction of the patients and their family. This report is a basis for future work focusing on the effect of bone fragility and the impact of OI on patients’ social relations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4414/smw.2020.20285DOI Listing
June 2020

Are heterozygous carriers for hereditary fructose intolerance predisposed to metabolic disturbances when exposed to fructose?

Am J Clin Nutr 2018 08;108(2):292-299

Center for Molecular Diseases, Division of Genetic Medicine.

Background: High fructose intake causes hepatic insulin resistance and increases postprandial blood glucose, lactate, triglyceride, and uric acid concentrations. Uric acid may contribute to insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in the general population. In patients with hereditary fructose intolerance, fructose consumption is associated with acute hypoglycemia, renal tubular acidosis, and hyperuricemia.

Objective: We investigated whether asymptomatic carriers for hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) would have a higher sensitivity to adverse effects of fructose than would the general population.

Design: Eight subjects heterozygous for HFI (hHFI; 4 men, 4 women) and 8 control subjects received a low-fructose diet for 7 d and on the eighth day ingested a test meal, calculated to provide 25% of the basal energy requirement, containing 13C-labeled fructose (0.35 g/kg), glucose (0.35 g/kg), protein (0.21 g/kg), and lipid (0.22 g/kg). Glucose rate of appearance (GRa, calculated with [6,6-2H2]glucose), fructose, net carbohydrate, and lipid oxidation, and plasma triglyceride, uric acid, and lactate concentrations were monitored over 6 h postprandially.

Results: Postprandial GRa, fructose, net carbohydrate, and lipid oxidation, and plasma lactate and triglyceride concentrations were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Postprandial plasma uric acid increased by 7.2% compared with fasting values in hHFI subjects (P < 0.01), but not in control subjects (-1.1%, ns).

Conclusions: Heterozygous carriers of hereditary fructose intolerance had no significant alteration of postprandial fructose metabolism compared with control subjects. They did, however, show a postprandial increase in plasma uric acid concentration that was not observed in control subjects in responses to ingestion of a modest amount of fructose. This trial was registered at the US Clinical Trials Registry as NCT02979106.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy092DOI Listing
August 2018

Hepatosplenomegaly, pneumopathy, bone changes and fronto-temporal dementia: Niemann-Pick type B and SQSTM1-associated Paget's disease in the same individual.

J Bone Miner Metab 2019 Mar 14;37(2):378-383. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Division of Genetic Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Center for Molecular Diseases, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Data from exome sequencing show that a proportion of individuals in whom a genetic disorder is suspected turn out to have not one, but two to four distinct ones. This may require an evolution in our diagnostic attitude towards individuals with complex disorders. We report a patient with splenomegaly, pneumopathy, bone changes and fronto-temporal dementia (FTD). "Sea-blue histiocytes" in his bone marrow pointed to a lysosomal storage disease. Homozygosity for a pathogenic mutation in the SMPD1 gene confirmed Niemann-Pick disease type B (NPD-B). Mild cognitive impairment and abnormal brain FDG PET were consistent with FTD. We initially tried to fit the skeletal and neurologic phenotype into the NPD-B diagnosis. However, additional studies revealed a pathogenic mutation in the SQSTM1 gene. Thus, our patient had two distinct diseases; NPD-B, and Paget's disease of bone with FTD. The subsequent finding of a mutation in SQSTM1 gene ended our struggle to explain the combination of findings by a singular "unifying" diagnosis and allowed us to make specific therapeutic decisions. SQSTM1 mutations have been reported in association with FTD, possibly because of defective autophagy. Bisphosphonates may be beneficial for PDB, but since they are known to inhibit acid sphingomyelinase activity, we refrained from using them in this patient. While the principle of looking for unifying diagnosis remains valid, physicians should consider the possibility of co-existing multiple diagnoses when clinical features are difficult to explain by a single one. Accurate diagnostic work-up can guide genetic counseling but also lead to better medical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00774-018-0932-1DOI Listing
March 2019

Adult classical homocystinuria requiring parenteral nutrition: Pitfalls and management.

Clin Nutr 2018 08 25;37(4):1114-1120. Epub 2017 Jul 25.

Service of Adult Intensive Care and Burns Centre, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Background: Homocystinuria due to cystathionine beta synthase (CBS) deficiency presents with a wide clinical spectrum. Treatment by the enteral route aims at reducing homocysteine levels by using vitamin B6, possibly methionine-restricted diet, betaine and/or folate and vitamin B supplementation. Currently no nutritional guidelines exist regarding parenteral nutrition (PN) under acute conditions.

Methods: Exhaustive literature search was performed, in order to identify the relevant studies describing the pathogenesis and nutritional intervention of adult classical homocystinuria requiring PN. Description of an illustrative case of an adult female with CBS deficiency and intestinal perforation, who required total PN due to contraindication to enteral nutrition.

Results: Nutritional management of decompensated classical homocystinuria is complex and currently no recommendation exists regarding PN composition. Amino acid profile and monitoring of total homocysteine concentration are the main tools enabling a precise assessment of the severity of metabolic alterations. In case of contraindication to enteral nutrition, compounded PN will be required, as described in this paper, to ensure adequate low amounts of methionine and others essential amino acids and avoid potentially fatal toxic hypermethioninemia.

Conclusions: By reviewing the literature and reporting successful nutritional management of a decompensated CBS deficiency using tailored PN with limited methionine intake and n-3 PUFA addition, we would like to underscore the fact that standard PN solutions are not adapted for CBS deficient critical ill patients: new solutions are required. High methionine levels (>800 μmol/L) being potentially neurotoxic, there is an urgent need to improve our knowledge of acute nutritional therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2017.07.013DOI Listing
August 2018

Glypican-6 promotes the growth of developing long bones by stimulating Hedgehog signaling.

J Cell Biol 2017 09 10;216(9):2911-2926. Epub 2017 Jul 10.

Sunnybrook Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Autosomal-recessive omodysplasia (OMOD1) is a genetic condition characterized by short stature, shortened limbs, and facial dysmorphism. OMOD1 is caused by loss-of-function mutations of glypican 6 (). In this study, we show that -null embryos display most of the abnormalities found in OMOD1 patients and that Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is significantly reduced in the long bones of these embryos. The Hh-stimulatory activity of GPC6 was also observed in cultured cells, where this GPC increased the binding of Hh to Patched 1 (Ptc1). Consistent with this, GPC6 interacts with Hh through its core protein and with Ptc1 through its glycosaminoglycan chains. Hh signaling is triggered at the primary cilium. In the absence of Hh, we observed that GPC6 is localized outside of the cilium but moves into the cilium upon the addition of Hh. We conclude that GPC6 stimulates Hh signaling by binding to Hh and Ptc1 at the cilium and increasing the interaction of the receptor and ligand.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201605119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5584141PMC
September 2017

Pulmonary Involvement in Adult Patients with Inborn Errors of Metabolism.

Respiration 2017 16;94(1):2-13. Epub 2017 May 16.

Center for Molecular Diseases, Division of Genetic Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) are rare individually, but taken together, they affect 1 in 1,000 people. Most of the disease becomes apparent at the pediatric age; however, with the identification of late-onset forms, and with improved survival, several of these conditions may be found in adults of all ages. While the lung is not typically a primary site of clinical disease in patients with IEM, in some of them it can be a significantly affected organ with associated severe respiratory complications. Lung involvement can be a late- onset feature of a complex multisystemic disease, but sometimes it can also be the only manifestation of underlying IEM. The aim of this review is to focus on specific IEM associated with lung disease in adults and to provide the reader with an overview of the diagnostic workup, overall disease management, and specific treatments for the respiratory manifestations. Clinical suspicion, early recognition, prompt diagnosis, and appropriate care of the respiratory manifestation are crucial, as they can affect both the life expectancy and the quality of life of these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000475762DOI Listing
May 2018

Current Care and Investigational Therapies in Achondroplasia.

Curr Osteoporos Rep 2017 04;15(2):53-60

Institute de Biologie Valrose, University. Nice Sophia Antipolis, Batiment Sciences Naturelles; UFR Sciences, Parc Valrose, 28 avenue Valrose, 06108, Nice, Cedex 2, France.

Purpose Of Review: The goal of this review is to evaluate the management options for achondroplasia, the most common non-lethal skeletal dysplasia. This disease is characterized by short stature and a variety of complications, some of which can be quite severe.

Recent Findings: Despite several attempts to standardize care, there is still no widely accepted consensus. This is in part due to absence of concrete data on the incidence of sudden unexplained death in infants with achondroplasia and the best investigation for ascertaining which individuals could benefit from foramen magnum decompression surgery. In this review, we identify the different options of care and management for the various orthopedic, neurologic, and respiratory complications. In parallel, several innovative or drug repositioning therapies are being investigated that would restore bone growth but may also prevent complications. Achondroplasia is the most common non-lethal skeletal dysplasia. It is characterized by short stature and a variety of complications, some of which can be quite severe. Despite several attempts to standardize care, there is still no widely accepted consensus. This is in part due to absence of concrete data on the incidence of sudden unexplained death in infants with achondroplasia and the best investigation for ascertaining which individuals could benefit from foramen magnum decompression surgery. In this review, we identify the different options of care and management for the various orthopedic, neurologic, and respiratory complications. In parallel, several innovative or drug repositioning therapies are being investigated that would restore bone growth but may also prevent complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11914-017-0347-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5435778PMC
April 2017

Corner fracture type spondylometaphyseal dysplasia: Overlap with type II collagenopathies.

Am J Med Genet A 2017 Mar 26;173(3):733-739. Epub 2016 Nov 26.

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Spondylometaphyseal dysplasia (SMD) corner fracture type (also known as SMD "Sutcliffe" type, MIM 184255) is a rare skeletal dysplasia that presents with mild to moderate short stature, developmental coxa vara, mild platyspondyly, corner fracture-like lesions, and metaphyseal abnormalities with sparing of the epiphyses. The molecular basis for this disorder has yet to be clarified. We describe two patients with SMD corner fracture type and heterozygous pathogenic variants in COL2A1. These two cases together with a third case of SMD corner fracture type with a heterozygous COL2A1 pathogenic variant previously described suggest that this disorder overlaps with type II collagenopathies. The finding of one of the pathogenic variants in a previously reported case of spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia (SEMD) Strudwick type and the significant clinical similarity suggest an overlap between SMD corner fracture and SEMD Strudwick types. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315610PMC
March 2017

Bisphosphonates in multicentric osteolysis, nodulosis and arthropathy (MONA) spectrum disorder - an alternative therapeutic approach.

Sci Rep 2016 Sep 30;6:34017. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Clinic for Pediatrics I, Inherited Metabolic Disorders, Medical University of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Multicentric osteolysis, nodulosis and arthropathy (MONA) spectrum disorder is a rare inherited progressive skeletal disorder caused by mutations in the matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) gene. Treatment options are limited. Herein we present successful bisphosphonate therapy in three affected patients. Patients were treated with bisphosphonates (either pamidronate or zoledronate) for different time periods. The following outcome variables were assessed: skeletal pain, range of motion, bone densitometry, internal medical problems as well as neurocognitive function. Skeletal pain was dramatically reduced in all patients soon after initiation of therapy and bone mineral density increased. Range of motion did not significantly improve. One patient is still able to walk with aids at the age of 14 years. Neurocognitive development was normal in all patients. Bisphosphonate therapy was effective especially in controlling skeletal pain in MONA spectrum disorder. Early initiation of treatment seems to be particularly important in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5043187PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep34017DOI Listing
September 2016

Cortical-Bone Fragility--Insights from sFRP4 Deficiency in Pyle's Disease.

N Engl J Med 2016 Jun;374(26):2553-2562

Background: Cortical-bone fragility is a common feature in osteoporosis that is linked to nonvertebral fractures. Regulation of cortical-bone homeostasis has proved elusive. The study of genetic disorders of the skeleton can yield insights that fuel experimental therapeutic approaches to the treatment of rare disorders and common skeletal ailments.

Methods: We evaluated four patients with Pyle's disease, a genetic disorder that is characterized by cortical-bone thinning, limb deformity, and fractures; two patients were examined by means of exome sequencing, and two were examined by means of Sanger sequencing. After a candidate gene was identified, we generated a knockout mouse model that manifested the phenotype and studied the mechanisms responsible for altered bone architecture.

Results: In all affected patients, we found biallelic truncating mutations in SFRP4, the gene encoding secreted frizzled-related protein 4, a soluble Wnt inhibitor. Mice deficient in Sfrp4, like persons with Pyle's disease, have increased amounts of trabecular bone and unusually thin cortical bone, as a result of differential regulation of Wnt and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling in these two bone compartments. Treatment of Sfrp4-deficient mice with a soluble Bmp2 receptor (RAP-661) or with antibodies to sclerostin corrected the cortical-bone defect.

Conclusions: Our study showed that Pyle's disease was caused by a deficiency of sFRP4, that cortical-bone and trabecular-bone homeostasis were governed by different mechanisms, and that sFRP4-mediated cross-regulation between Wnt and BMP signaling was critical for achieving proper cortical-bone thickness and stability. (Funded by the Swiss National Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.).
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5070790PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1509342DOI Listing
June 2016

Osteogenesis imperfecta: from diagnosis and multidisciplinary treatment to future perspectives.

Swiss Med Wkly 2016 20;146:w14322. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

Unité Pédiatrique de Chirurgie Orthopédique et Traumatologique UPCOT, Hôpital de l'Enfance, Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland.

Osteogenesis imperfecta is an inherited connective tissue disorder with wide phenotypic and molecular heterogeneity. A common issue associated with the molecular abnormality is a disturbance in bone matrix synthesis and homeostasis inducing bone fragility. In very early life, this can lead to multiple fractures and progressive bone deformities, including long bone bowing and scoliosis. Multidisciplinary management improves quality of life for patients with osteogenesis imperfecta. It consists of physical therapy, medical treatment and orthopaedic surgery as necessary. Medical treatment consists of bone-remodelling drug therapy. Bisphosphonates are widely used in the treatment of moderate to severe osteogenesis imperfecta, from infancy to adulthood. Other more recent drug therapies include teriparatide and denosumab. All these therapies target the symptoms and have effects on the mechanical properties of bone due to modification of bone remodelling, therefore influencing skeletal outcome and orthopaedic surgery. Innovative therapies, such as progenitor and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation, targeting the specific altered pathway rather than the symptoms, are in the process of development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4414/smw.2016.14322DOI Listing
March 2017

[Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome): clinical manifestations and multidisciplinary management].

Rev Med Suisse 2016 May;12(517):896-901

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), or Osler- Weber-Rendu syndrome, is a rare genetic disorder with autosomal dominant inheritance, characterized by recurrent epistaxis, mucocutaneous telangiectasia and visceral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), which may lead to severe complications. The diagnosis of HHT is often delayed due to the rarity of the disease, and the variety of clinical manifestations. The management of HHT includes systematic screening for visceral AVMs at regular intervals, preventive interventions to reduce the risk of complications, and symptomatic measures. A multidisciplinary standardized program in specialised centers may improve the management of patients with HHT.
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May 2016

NANS-mediated synthesis of sialic acid is required for brain and skeletal development.

Nat Genet 2016 07 23;48(7):777-84. Epub 2016 May 23.

Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

We identified biallelic mutations in NANS, the gene encoding the synthase for N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuNAc; sialic acid), in nine individuals with infantile-onset severe developmental delay and skeletal dysplasia. Patient body fluids showed an elevation in N-acetyl-D-mannosamine levels, and patient-derived fibroblasts had reduced NANS activity and were unable to incorporate sialic acid precursors into sialylated glycoproteins. Knockdown of nansa in zebrafish embryos resulted in abnormal skeletal development, and exogenously added sialic acid partially rescued the skeletal phenotype. Thus, NANS-mediated synthesis of sialic acid is required for early brain development and skeletal growth. Normal sialylation of plasma proteins was observed in spite of NANS deficiency. Exploration of endogenous synthesis, nutritional absorption, and rescue pathways for sialic acid in different tissues and developmental phases is warranted to design therapeutic strategies to counteract NANS deficiency and to shed light on sialic acid metabolism and its implications for human nutrition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3578DOI Listing
July 2016

Brief Report: Peripheral Osteolysis in Adults Linked to ASAH1 (Acid Ceramidase) Mutations: A New Presentation of Farber's Disease.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2016 09 29;68(9):2323-7. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Objective: To establish a diagnosis and provide counseling and treatment for 3 adult patients from one family presenting with peripheral osteolysis.

Methods: Following clinical and radiographic assessment, exome sequencing, targeted gene resequencing, and determination of enzyme activity in cultured fibroblasts were performed.

Results: The proband (age 40 years) had a history of episodic fever and pain in childhood that subsided around puberty. He and 2 of his older sisters (ages 58 and 60 years, respectively) showed adult-onset progressive shortening of fingers and toes with redundancy of the overlying skin. Radiographs showed severe osteolysis of the distal radius and ulna, carpal bones, metacarpal bones, and phalanges. Sequencing of the known genes for recessively inherited osteolysis, MMP2 and MMP14, failed to show pathogenic mutations. Exome sequencing revealed compound heterozygosity for mutations c.505T>C (p.Trp169Arg) and c.760A>G (p.Arg254Gly) in ASAH1, the gene coding for acid ceramidase. Sanger sequencing confirmed correct segregation in the family, and enzyme activity in fibroblast cultures from the patients was reduced to ∼8% of that in controls, confirming a diagnosis of Farber's disease.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that hypomorphic mutations in ASAH1 may result in an osteoarticular phenotype with a juvenile phase resembling rheumatoid arthritis that evolves to osteolysis as the final stage in the absence of neurologic signs. This observation delineates a novel type of recessively inherited peripheral osteolysis and illustrates the long-term skeletal manifestations of acid ceramidase deficiency (Farber's disease) in what appear to be the oldest affected individuals known so far.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.39659DOI Listing
September 2016

Mutations in the heat-shock protein A9 (HSPA9) gene cause the EVEN-PLUS syndrome of congenital malformations and skeletal dysplasia.

Sci Rep 2015 Nov 24;5:17154. Epub 2015 Nov 24.

Centre for Molecular Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland.

We and others have reported mutations in LONP1, a gene coding for a mitochondrial chaperone and protease, as the cause of the human CODAS (cerebral, ocular, dental, auricular and skeletal) syndrome (MIM 600373). Here, we delineate a similar but distinct condition that shares the epiphyseal, vertebral and ocular changes of CODAS but also included severe microtia, nasal hypoplasia, and other malformations, and for which we propose the name of EVEN-PLUS syndrome for epiphyseal, vertebral, ear, nose, plus associated findings. In three individuals from two families, no mutation in LONP1 was found; instead, we found biallelic mutations in HSPA9, the gene that codes for mHSP70/mortalin, another highly conserved mitochondrial chaperone protein essential in mitochondrial protein import, folding, and degradation. The functional relationship between LONP1 and HSPA9 in mitochondrial protein chaperoning and the overlapping phenotypes of CODAS and EVEN-PLUS delineate a family of "mitochondrial chaperonopathies" and point to an unexplored role of mitochondrial chaperones in human embryonic morphogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep17154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657157PMC
November 2015

Nosology and classification of genetic skeletal disorders: 2015 revision.

Am J Med Genet A 2015 Dec 23;167A(12):2869-92. Epub 2015 Sep 23.

Medical Genetics Service,, CHUV, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

The purpose of the nosology is to serve as a "master" list of the genetic disorders of the skeleton to facilitate diagnosis and to help delineate variant or newly recognized conditions. This is the 9th edition of the nosology and in comparison with its predecessor there are fewer conditions but many new genes. In previous editions, diagnoses that were phenotypically indistinguishable but genetically heterogenous were listed separately but we felt this was an unnecessary distinction. Thus the overall number of disorders has decreased from 456 to 436 but the number of groups has increased to 42 and the number of genes to 364. The nosology may become increasingly important today and tomorrow in the era of big data when the question for the geneticist is often whether a mutation identified by next generation sequencing technology in a particular gene can explain the clinical and radiological phenotype of their patient. This can be particularly difficult to answer conclusively in the prenatal setting. Personalized medicine emphasizes the importance of tailoring diagnosis and therapy to the individual but for our patients with rare skeletal disorders, the importance of tapping into a resource where genetic data can be centralized and made available should not be forgotten or underestimated. The nosology can also serve as a reference for the creation of locus-specific databases that are expected to help in delineating genotype-phenotype correlations and to harbor the information that will be gained by combining clinical observations and next generation sequencing results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37365DOI Listing
December 2015

Urinary pyridinoline cross-links as biomarkers of osteogenesis imperfecta.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2015 Aug 27;10:104. Epub 2015 Aug 27.

Division of Metabolism, Connective Tissue Unit, University Children's Hospital Zurich and Children's Research Centre, Zurich, Switzerland.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a group of genetic heterogeneous connective tissue disorders characterized by increased bone fragility and susceptibility to fractures. Laboratory diagnosis relies on time-consuming and cost-intensive biochemical and molecular genetics analyses. Therefore, it is desirable to identify and establish new diagnostic markers for OI that are reliable, cost-effective and easily accessible. In our study we have identified the ratio of the urinary pyridinoline cross-links lysyl-pyridinoline and hydroxylysyl-pyridinoline as a promising, time- and cost-effective biomarker for osteogenesis imperfecta, that could be used furthermore to investigate cases of suspected non-accidental injury in infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-015-0315-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4549897PMC
August 2015

NBAS mutations cause a multisystem disorder involving bone, connective tissue, liver, immune system, and retina.

Am J Med Genet A 2015 Dec 19;167A(12):2902-12. Epub 2015 Aug 19.

Center for Molecular Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

We report two unrelated patients with a multisystem disease involving liver, eye, immune system, connective tissue, and bone, caused by biallelic mutations in the neuroblastoma amplified sequence (NBAS) gene. Both presented as infants with recurrent episodes triggered by fever with vomiting, dehydration, and elevated transaminases. They had frequent infections, hypogammaglobulinemia, reduced natural killer cells, and the Pelger-Huët anomaly of their granulocytes. Their facial features were similar with a pointed chin and proptosis; loose skin and reduced subcutaneous fat gave them a progeroid appearance. Skeletal features included short stature, slender bones, epiphyseal dysplasia with multiple phalangeal pseudo-epiphyses, and small C1-C2 vertebrae causing cervical instability and myelopathy. Retinal dystrophy and optic atrophy were present in one patient. NBAS is a component of the synthaxin-18 complex and is involved in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay control. Putative loss-of-function mutations in NBAS are already known to cause disease in humans. A specific founder mutation has been associated with short stature, optic nerve atrophy and Pelger-Huët anomaly of granulocytes (SOPH) in the Siberian Yakut population. A more recent report associates NBAS mutations with recurrent acute liver failure in infancy in a group of patients of European descent. Our observations indicate that the phenotypic spectrum of NBAS deficiency is wider than previously known and includes skeletal, hepatic, metabolic, and immunologic aspects. Early recognition of the skeletal phenotype is important for preventive management of cervical instability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37338DOI Listing
December 2015

Mutations in LONP1, a mitochondrial matrix protease, cause CODAS syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2015 Jul 21;167(7):1501-9. Epub 2015 Mar 21.

Medical Genetics Service, CHUV, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Cerebral, ocular, dental, auricular, skeletal anomalies (CODAS) syndrome (MIM 600373) was first described and named by Shehib et al, in 1991 in a single patient. The anomalies referred to in the acronym are as follows: cerebral-developmental delay, ocular-cataracts, dental-aberrant cusp morphology and delayed eruption, auricular-malformations of the external ear, and skeletal-spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia. This distinctive constellation of anatomical findings should allow easy recognition but despite this only four apparently sporadic patients have been reported in the last 20 years indicating that the full phenotype is indeed very rare with perhaps milder or a typical presentations that are allelic but without sufficient phenotypic resemblance to permit clinical diagnosis. We performed exome sequencing in three patients (an isolated case and a brother and sister sib pair) with classical features of CODAS. Sanger sequencing was used to confirm results as well as for mutation discovery in a further four unrelated patients ascertained via their skeletal features. Compound heterozygous or homozygous mutations in LONP1 were found in all (8 separate mutations; 6 missense, 1 nonsense, 1 small in-frame deletion) thus establishing the genetic basis of CODAS and the pattern of inheritance (autosomal recessive). LONP1 encodes an enzyme of bacterial ancestry that participates in protein turnover within the mitochondrial matrix. The mutations cluster at the ATP-binding and proteolytic domains of the enzyme. Biallelic inheritance and clustering of mutations confirm dysfunction of LONP1 activity as the molecular basis of CODAS but the pathogenesis remains to be explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37029DOI Listing
July 2015

When should clinicians search for GLUT1 deficiency syndrome in childhood generalized epilepsies?

Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2015 Mar 11;19(2):170-5. Epub 2014 Dec 11.

Pediatric Neurology and Neurorehabilitation Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Unlabelled: GLUT1 deficiency (GLUT1D) has recently been identified as an important cause of generalized epilepsies in childhood. As it is a treatable condition, it is crucial to determine which patients should be investigated.

Methods: We analyzed SLC2A1 for mutations in a group of 93 unrelated children with generalized epilepsies. Fasting lumbar puncture was performed following the identification of a mutation. We compared our results with a systematic review of 7 publications of series of patients with generalized epilepsies screened for SLC2A1 mutations.

Results: We found 2/93 (2.1%) patients with a SLC2A1 mutation. One, carrying a novel de novo deletion had epilepsy with myoclonic-atonic seizures (MAE), mild slowing of head growth, choreiform movements and developmental delay. The other, with a paternally inherited missense mutation, had childhood absence epilepsy with atypical EEG features and paroxysmal exercise-induced dyskinesia (PED) initially misdiagnosed as myoclonic seizures. Out of a total of 1110 screened patients with generalized epilepsies from 7 studies, 2.4% (29/1110) had GLUT1D. This rate was higher (5.6%) among 303 patients with early onset absence epilepsy (EOAE) from 4 studies. About 50% of GLUT1D patients had abnormal movements and 41% a family history of seizures, abnormal movements or both.

Conclusion: GLUT1D is most likely to be found in MAE and in EOAE. The probability of finding GLUT1D in the classical idiopathic generalized epilepsies is very low. Pointers to GLUT1D include an increase in seizures before meals, cognitive impairment, or PED which can easily be overlooked.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2014.11.009DOI Listing
March 2015

Phenylbutyrate increases pyruvate dehydrogenase complex activity in cells harboring a variety of defects.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2014 Jul 19;1(7):462-70. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine Naples, Italy ; Department of Translational Medicine, Federico II University of Naples Naples, Italy.

Objective: Deficiency of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) is the most common genetic disorder leading to lactic acidosis. PDHC deficiency is genetically heterogenous and most patients have defects in the X-linked E1-α gene but defects in the other components of the complex encoded by PDHB, PDHX, DLAT, DLD genes or in the regulatory enzyme encoded by PDP1 have also been found. Phenylbutyrate enhances PDHC enzymatic activity in vitro and in vivo by increasing the proportion of unphosphorylated enzyme through inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases and thus, has potential for therapy of patients with PDHC deficiency. In the present study, we investigated response to phenylbutyrate of multiple cell lines harboring all known gene defects resulting in PDHC deficiency.

Methods: Fibroblasts of patients with PDHC deficiency were studied for their enzyme activity at baseline and following phenylbutyrate incubation. Drug responses were correlated with genotypes and protein levels by Western blotting.

Results: Large deletions affecting PDHA1 that result in lack of detectable protein were unresponsive to phenylbutyrate, whereas increased PDHC activity was detected in most fibroblasts harboring PDHA1 missense mutations. Mutations affecting the R349-α residue were directed to proteasome degradation and were consistently unresponsive to short-time drug incubation but longer incubation resulted in increased levels of enzyme activity and protein that may be due to an additional effect of phenylbutyrate as a molecular chaperone.

Interpretation: PDHC enzyme activity was enhanced by phenylbutyrate in cells harboring missense mutations in PDHB, PDHX, DLAT, DLD, and PDP1 genes. In the prospect of a clinical trial, the results of this study may allow prediction of in vivo response in patients with PDHC deficiency harboring a wide spectrum of molecular defects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.73DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4184775PMC
July 2014

Positive effects of an angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist in Camurati-Engelmann disease: a single case observation.

Am J Med Genet A 2014 Oct 5;164A(10):2667-71. Epub 2014 Aug 5.

Unit of Pediatric Genetics Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey; Division of Molecular Pediatrics Department of Pediatrics, University of Lausanne, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Camurati-Engelmann disease is characterized by hyperostosis of the long bones and the skull, muscle atrophy, severe limb pain, and progressive joint contractures in some patients. It is caused by heterozygous mutations in the transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) believed to result in improper folding of the latency-associated peptide domain of TGFβ1 and thus in increased or deregulated bioactivity. Losartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist, has been found to downregulate the expression of TGFβ type 1 and 2 receptors. Clinical trials with losartan have shown a benefit in Marfan syndrome, while trials are underway for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other myopathies associated with TGFβ1 signaling. We hypothesized that due to its anti-TGFβ1 activity, losartan might be beneficial in Camurati-Engelmann disease. This report concerns a boy who presented at age 13 years with severe limb pain and difficulty in walking. Clinical and radiographic evaluation results were compatible with Camurati-Engelmann disease and the diagnosis was confirmed by mutation analysis (c.652C > T [p.Arg218Cys]). The boy underwent an experimental treatment with losartan at a dosage of 50 mg/day, orally. During the treatment period of 18 months, the intensity and frequency of limb pain decreased significantly (as shown by a pain diary), and muscle strength improved, allowing the boy to resume walking and climbing stairs. No obvious side effects were observed. We cautiously conclude that TGFβ1 inhibition with losartan deserves further evaluation in the clinical management of Camurati-Engelmann disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.36692DOI Listing
October 2014

Eight years experience from a skeletal dysplasia referral center in a tertiary hospital in Southern India: a model for the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases in a developing country.

Am J Med Genet A 2014 Sep 14;164A(9):2317-23. Epub 2014 Jul 14.

Department of Pediatric Genetics, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Cochin, Kerala, India.

We report on a series of 514 consecutive diagnoses of skeletal dysplasia made over an 8-year period at a tertiary hospital in Kerala, India. The most common diagnostic groups were dysostosis multiplex group (n = 73) followed by FGFR3 (n = 49) and osteogenesis imperfecta and decreased bone density group (n = 41). Molecular confirmation was obtained in 109 cases. Clinical and radiographic evaluation was obtained in close diagnostic collaboration with expert groups abroad through Internet communication for difficult cases. This has allowed for targeted biochemical and molecular studies leading to the correct identification of rare or novel conditions, which has not only helped affected families by allowing for improved genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis but also resulted in several scientific contributions. We conclude that (1) the spectrum of genetic bone disease in Kerala, India, is similar to that of other parts of the world, but recessive entities may be more frequent because of widespread consanguinity; (2) prenatal detection of skeletal dysplasias remains relatively rare because of limited access to expert prenatal ultrasound facilities; (3) because of the low accessibility to molecular tests, precise clinical-radiographic phenotyping remains the mainstay of diagnosis and counseling and of gatekeeping to efficient laboratory testing; (4) good phenotyping allows, a significant contribution to the recognition and characterization of novel entities. We suggest that the tight collaboration between a local reference center with dedicated personnel and expert diagnostic networks may be a proficient model to bring current diagnostics to developing countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.36668DOI Listing
September 2014

Congenital ataxia and hemiplegic migraine with cerebral edema associated with a novel gain of function mutation in the calcium channel CACNA1A.

J Neurol Sci 2014 Jul 27;342(1-2):69-78. Epub 2014 Apr 27.

Neuropediatric Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Mutations in the CACNA1A gene, encoding the α1 subunit of the voltage-gated calcium channel Ca(V)2.1 (P/Q-type), have been associated with three neurological phenotypes: familial and sporadic hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1, SHM1), episodic ataxia type 2 (EA2), and spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6). We report a child with congenital ataxia, abnormal eye movements and developmental delay who presented severe attacks of hemiplegic migraine triggered by minor head traumas and associated with hemispheric swelling and seizures. Progressive cerebellar atrophy was also observed. Remission of the attacks was obtained with acetazolamide. A de novo 3 bp deletion was found in heterozygosity causing loss of a phenylalanine residue at position 1502, in one of the critical transmembrane domains of the protein contributing to the inner part of the pore. We characterized the electrophysiology of this mutant in a Xenopus oocyte in vitro system and showed that it causes gain of function of the channel. The mutant Ca(V)2.1 activates at lower voltage threshold than the wild type. These findings provide further evidence of this molecular mechanism as causative of FHM1 and expand the phenotypic spectrum of CACNA1A mutations with a child exhibiting severe SHM1 and non-episodic ataxia of congenital onset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2014.04.027DOI Listing
July 2014

MMP13 mutations are the cause of recessive metaphyseal dysplasia, Spahr type.

Am J Med Genet A 2014 May 19;164A(5):1175-9. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Division of Molecular Pediatrics, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Metaphyseal dysplasia, Spahr type (MDST; OMIM 250400) was described in 1961 based on the observation of four children in one family who had rickets-like metaphyseal changes but normal blood chemistry and moderate short stature. Its molecular basis and nosologic status remained unknown. We followed up on those individuals and diagnosed the disorder in an additional member of the family. We used exome sequencing to ascertain the underlying mutation and explored its consequences on three-dimensional models of the affected protein. The MDST phenotype is associated with moderate short stature and knee pain in adults, while extra-skeletal complications are not observed. The sequencing showed that MDST segregated with a c.619T>G single nucleotide transversion in MMP13. The predicted non-conservative amino acid substitution, p.Trp207Gly, disrupts a crucial hydrogen bond in the calcium-binding region of the catalytic domain of the matrix metalloproteinase, MMP13. The MDST phenotype is associated with recessive MMP13 mutations, confirming the importance of this metalloproteinase in the metaphyseal growth plate. Dominant MMP13 mutations have been associated with metaphyseal anadysplasia (OMIM 602111), while a single child homozygous for a MMP13 mutation had been previously diagnosed as "recessive metaphyseal anadysplasia," that we conclude is the same nosologic entity as MDST. Molecular confirmation of MDST allows distinction of it from dominant conditions (e.g., metaphyseal dysplasia, Schmid type; OMIM # 156500) and from more severe multi-system conditions (such as cartilage-hair hypoplasia; OMIM # 250250) and to give precise recurrence risks and prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.36431DOI Listing
May 2014

[Genetics of childhood epilepsies: for who? how? why?].

Rev Med Suisse 2014 Jan;10(412-413):110-1

Unité de Neuropédiatrie et Neuroréhabelitation Pédiatrique, CHUV, Lausanne.

Recent advances in genetics led to significant improvement in the field of childhood epilepsies diagnosis and physiopathology. Genetic testing is indicated by geneticist who is himself guided by the pediatric neurological approach. In rare circumstance, genetic etiology affects the clinical management. Cost remains the main limitation. Those new genetic tools are the first step toward a better understanding of seizure mechanism and therefore more efficient treatments.
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January 2014

Carnitine deficiency in chronic critical illness.

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2014 Mar;17(2):200-9

aCenter for Molecular Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital bAdult Intensive Care & Burns, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland cDivision of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Bone Disease, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA.

Purpose Of Review: New insight in mitochondrial physiology has highlighted the importance of mitochondrial dysfunction in the metabolic and neuroendocrine changes observed in patients presenting with chronic critical illness. This review highlights specifically the importance of carnitine status in this particular patient population and its impact on beta-oxidation and mitochondrial function.

Recent Findings: The main function of carnitine is long chain fatty acid esterification and transport through the mitochondrial membrane. Carnitine depletion should be suspected in critically ill patients with risk factors such as prolonged continuous renal replacement therapy or chronic parenteral nutrition, and evidence of beta-oxidation impairments such as inappropriate hypertriglyceridemia or hyperlactatemia. When fatty acid oxidation is impaired, acyl-CoAs accumulate and deplete the CoA intramitochondrial pool, hence causing a generalized mitochondrial dysfunction and multiorgan failure, with clinical consequences such as muscle weakness, rhabdomyolysis, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia or sudden death. In such situations, carnitine plasma levels should be measured along with a complete assessment of plasma amino acid, plasma acylcarnitines and urinary organic acid analysis. Supplementation should be initiated if below normal levels (20 μmol/l) of carnitine are observed. In the absence of current guidelines, we recommend an initial supplementation of 0.5-1 g/day.

Summary: Metabolic modifications associated with chronic critical illness are just being explored. Carnitine deficiency in critically ill patients is one aspect of these profound and complex changes associated with prolonged stay in ICU. It is readily measurable in the plasma and can easily be substituted if needed, although guidelines are currently missing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0000000000000037DOI Listing
March 2014
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