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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Isovaleric acidemia

Other Names for this Disease
  • Isovaleric acid CoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Isovaleryl CoA carboxylase deficiency
  • IVA
  • IVD deficiency
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Your Question

My child was diagnosed with isovaleric acidemia and is currently being treated with carnitine three times daily. I wanted to know if there were cures for this disease.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might isovaleric acidemia be treated?

There is currently no cure for isovaleric acidemia (IVA). Upon diagnosis, immediate treatment is typically necessary in order to prevent metabolic crises and complications that may follow. It is often recommended that affected individuals have a low-leucine / low-protein diet and use medical foods (such as special low-protein flours, pastas, and rice that are made especially for people with organic acid disorders) and leucine-free medical formula. A dietician with knowledge of IVA can help parents create a food plan that contains the right amount of protein, nutrients, and energy to keep the child healthy. Any diet changes should be under the guidance of a dietician. Medications that may be recommended include glycine and L-carnitine, which help rid the body of unwanted isovaleric acid and other harmful substances. No medication or supplement should be used without checking with a metabolic doctor. Children with symptoms of a metabolic crisis need medical treatment right away and may be given bicarbonate, glucose, and other medications by IV.[1]

With prompt and careful treatment, children with IVA have a good chance to live healthy lives with normal growth and development. However, some children, even when treated, may have repeated metabolic crises which can lead to life-long learning problems or mental retardation.[1]
Last updated: 3/30/2012