Clinical Laboratory Studies in Barth Syndrome

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Molecular Genetics and Metabolism


Barth Syndrome is a rare X-linked disorder characterized principally by dilated cardiomyopathy, skeletal myopathy and neutropenia and caused by defects in tafazzin, an enzyme responsible for modifying the acyl chain moieties of cardiolipin. While several comprehensive clinical studies of Barth Syndrome have been published detailing cardiac and hematologic features, descriptions of its biochemical characteristics are limited. To gain a better understanding of the clinical biochemistry of this rare disease, we measured hematologic and biochemical values in a cohort of Barth Syndrome patients. We characterized multiple biochemical parameters, including plasma amino acids, plasma 3-methylglutaconic acid, cholesterol, cholesterol synthetic intermediates, and red blood cell membrane fatty acid profiles in 28 individuals with Barth Syndrome from ages 10. months to 30. years. We describe a unique biochemical profile for these patients, including decreased plasma arginine levels. We further studied the plasma amino acid profiles, cholesterol, cholesterol synthetic intermediates, and plasma 3-methylglutaconic acid levels in 8 female carriers and showed that they do not share any of the distinct, Barth Syndrome-specific biochemical laboratory abnormalities. Our studies augment and expand the biochemical profiles of individuals with Barth Syndrome, describe a unique biochemical profile for these patients, and provide insight into the possible underlying biochemical pathology in this disorder. •We measured biochemical values in a cohort of 28 patients with Barth Syndrome.•We describe a biochemical profile for Barth Syndrome including decreased arginine.•Female carriers do not share the Barth Syndrome-specific biochemical abnormalities. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.