Hyperammonaemia in a child with distal renal tubular acidosis.

Research paper by D D Seracini, G M GM Poggi, I I Pela

Indexed on: 01 Sep '05Published on: 01 Sep '05Published in: Pediatric Nephrology


A 5-month-old girl with distal renal tubular acidosis (RTA) and hyperammonaemia that had lasted for 12 days, despite metabolic acidosis correction, is presented in this report. The patient showed failure to thrive, poor feeding, hypotonia and vomiting crisis in absence of inborn errors of metabolism. Probably, hyperammonaemia was the result of an imbalance between the increased ammonia synthesis, in response to metabolic acidosis, and the impaired ammonia excretion, typical of distal RTA. Our case confirms that hyperammonaemia may be observed in distal RTA, mimicking an inborn error of metabolism, and it underlines that hyperammonaemia may persist several days after metabolic acidosis correction.