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A case of dihydropyrimidinase deficiency incidentally detected by urine metabolome analysis

      Abstract

      Dihydropyrimidinase deficiency is a rare autosomal recessive disease affecting the second step of pyrimidine degradation. It is caused by mutations in the DPYS gene. Only approximately 30 cases have been reported to date, with a phenotypical variability ranging from asymptomatic to severe neurological illness. We report a case of dihydropyrimidinase deficiency incidentally detected by urine metabolome analysis. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-based urine metabolomics demonstrated significant elevations of dihydrouracil and dihydrothymine, which were subsequently confirmed by a quantitative analysis using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Genetic testing of the DPYS gene revealed two mutations: a novel mutation (c.175G > T) and a previously reported mutation (c.1469G > A). Dihydropyrimidinase deficiency is probably underdiagnosed, considering its wide phenotypical variability, nonspecific neurological presentations, and an estimated prevalence of 2/20,000. As severe 5-fluorouracil-associated toxicity has been reported in patients and carriers of congenital pyrimidine metabolic disorders, urinary pyrimidine analysis should be considered for those who will undergo 5-fluorouracil treatment.

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