In order to determine which are useful early diagnostic markers for medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency, we have analysed urine from an asymptomatic neonate. Profiling of urinary organic acids followed by peak confirmation by electron impact mass spectrometry revealed a high suberate/adipate ratio (>1.0) and the presence of n-hexanoylglycine (HG). Acylcarnitine analysis by fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry (FAB-MS) was inconclusive, but FAB-MS/MS (tandem mass spectrometry) revealed diagnostic amounts of octanoylcarnitine and hexanoylcarnitine. Quantitative analysis of acylglycines by stable istotope dilution and chemical ionization mass spectrometry revealed a 30-fold increase in HG and increased suberylglycine, but no increase in 3-phenylpropionylglycine.
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