Rare Pediatrics News

Disease Profile

Urea cycle disorders

Prevalence
Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

Unknown

Age of onset

-

ICD-10

E72.2

Inheritance

Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease

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Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype

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X-linked
dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.

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X-linked
recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder

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Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

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Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.

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Not applicable

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Other names (AKA)

UCD

Categories

Metabolic disorders

Summary

A urea cycle disorder is a genetic disorder that results in a deficiency of one of the six enzymes in the urea cycle. These enzymes are responsible for removing ammonia from the blood stream. The urea cycle involves a series of biochemical steps in which nitrogen, a waste product of protein metabolism, is changed to a compound called urea and removed from the blood. Normally, the urea is removed from the body through the urine. In urea cycle disorders, nitrogen builds up in the blood in the form of ammonia, a highly toxic substance, resulting in hyperammonemia (elevated blood ammonia). Ammonia then reaches the brain through the blood, where it can cause irreversible brain damage, coma and/or death. The onset and severity of urea cycle disorders is highly variable. The severity correlates with the amount of urea cycle enzyme function.[1]

Treatment

The resources below provide information about treatment options for this condition. If you have questions about which treatment is right for you, talk to your healthcare professional.

Management Guidelines

  • The NORD Physician Guide for Urea cycle disorders was developed as a free service of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and it's medical advisors. The guides provide a resource for clinicians about specific rare disorders to facilitate diagnosis and treatment of their patients with this condition.

    FDA-Approved Treatments

    The medication(s) listed below have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as orphan products for treatment of this condition. Learn more orphan products.

    • Benzoate and phenylacetate(Brand name: Ammonul®) Manufactured by Ucyclyd Pharma, Inc.
      FDA-approved indication: Adjunctive therapy in the treatment of acute hyperammonemia and associated encephalopathy in patients with deficiencies in enzymes of the urea cycle.
      National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal
    • Sodium phenylbutyrate(Brand name: Buphenyl®) Manufactured by Ucyclyd Pharma, Inc.
      FDA-approved indication: Adjunctive therapy in the chronic managment of patients with urea cycle disorders involving deficiencies of carbamylphosphate synthetase, ornithine transcarbamylase, or argininosuccinic acid synthetase.
      National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal
    • Glycerol phenylbutyrate(Brand name: Ravicti) Manufactured by Horizon Pharma, Inc.
      FDA-approved indication: Use as a nitrogen-binding adjunctive therapy for chronic management of adult and pediatric patients at least 2 months of age with urea cycle disorders (UCDs) that cannot be managed by dietary protein restriction and/or amino acid supplementation alone. RAVICTI must be used with dietary protein restriction and, in some cases, dietary supplements (eg, essential amino acids, arginine, citrulline, protein-free calorie supplements).
      National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal
    • Benzoate and phenylacetate(Brand name: Ucephan ) Manufactured by Immunex Immunex
      FDA-approved indication: For adjunctive therapy in the prevention and treatment of hyperammonemia in patients with urea cycle enzymopathy due to carbamylphosphate synthetase, ornithine, transcarbamylase, or argininosuccinate synthetase deficiency.
      National Library of Medicine Drug Information Portal

    Organizations

    Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

    Organizations Supporting this Disease

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      In-Depth Information

      • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
      • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Urea cycle disorders. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

        References

        1. What is a Urea Cycle Disorder?. National Urea Cyle Disorders Foundation. https://www.nucdf.org/ucd.htm. Accessed 4/12/2017.