A report of two families with sarcosinaemia in Hong Kong and revisiting the pathogenetic potential of hypersarcosinaemia.

Authors:
Shing-Yan Lee
Shing-Yan Lee
Princess Margaret Hospital
China
Kwok-Yin Chan
Kwok-Yin Chan
Princess Margaret Hospital
China
Chi-Kong Lai
Chi-Kong Lai
Princess Margaret Hospital
Hong Kong

Ann Acad Med Singapore 2006 Aug;35(8):582-4

Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China.

Introduction: Sarcosinaemia is a rare metabolic disorder which has not been reported in Asia.

Clinical Picture: The urine samples of 2 patients were screened as a routine metabolic screening offered for patients with mental retardation in our hospital. We used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) which is capable of detecting abnormal pattern in amino acids and organic acids. Plasma sarcosine level was further quantified by GC-MS. The same methods were used in the investigations of asymptomatic family members. Urine examination by GC-MS revealed excessive amount of sarcosine in urine (normally undetectable) and their plasma sarcosine levels were raised. The 2 differential diagnoses of presence of sarcosine in urine--glutaric aciduria type II and folate deficiency--were ruled out by the absence of abnormal organic acids in the initial urine screen and by normal serum folate level respectively. Screening of the 2 families identified excessive sarcosine in urine in 2 siblings, one from each family. However, these 2 siblings of indexed patients thus identified have no neurological or developmental problem.

Conclusion: Our finding was consistent with the notion that sarcosinaemia is a benign condition picked up coincidentally during screening for mental retardation.

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August 2006
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