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Glutaric acidemia, type I, missed by newborn screening in an infant with dystonia following promethazine administration

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Smith, W. E.; Millington, D. S.; Koeberl, D. D.; Lesser, P. S.

We report a child initially diagnosed with promethazine-induced dystonia despite a lack of response to diphenhydramine therapy. On further evaluation, the child was diagnosed with glutaric acidemia, type I (GA-I), an autosomal recessive inborn error of metabolism caused by the deficiency of glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase. The characteristic clinical feature of GA-I is an acute encephalopathic and neurologic crisis typically occurring during a catabolic state. Despite slow improvement, many patients do not fully recover from a neurologic crisis, and residual neurologic morbidity can be significant. Although newborn screening using tandem mass spectrometry is expected to enable presymptomatic diagnosis of GA-I, this patient was not detected by newborn screening with tandem mass spectrometry. Therefore, a high suspicion of GA-I must be maintained in the evaluation of childhood dystonia, even when newborn screening results are reportedly normal.

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