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Propionic acidemia

Other Names for this Disease
  • Glycinemia, ketotic
  • Hyperglycinemia with ketoacidosis and leukopenia
  • Ketotic glycinemia
  • Ketotic hyperglycinemia
  • PCC deficiency
More Names
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Propionic acidemia is an organic acid disorder in which the body is unable to process certain parts of proteins and lipids (fats) properly, and abnormal levels of propionic acid build up in the blood and tissues. The levels are toxic and cause serious health problems. In most cases, the features of propionic acidemia become apparent within a few days after birth and include poor feeding, vomiting, loss of appetite, weak muscle tone (hypotonia), and lack of energy (lethargy). These symptoms sometimes progress to more serious medical problems, including heart abnormalities, seizures, coma, and possibly death. It is caused by mutations in the PCCA and PCCB genes, which provide instructions for making a certain enzyme needed to break down proteins. It is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern.[1] Treatment is life-long and involves appropriate dietary management (to limit intake of certain amino acids) and addressing symptoms during a metabolic crisis.[2]
Last updated: 3/30/2011


  1. Propionic acidemia. Genetics Home Reference. July 2007; Accessed 3/30/2011.
  2. Karl S Roth. Propionic Acidemia (Propionyl CoA Carboxylase Deficiency): Treatment & Medication. eMedicine. September 10, 2009; Accessed 3/30/2011.
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Basic Information

  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Propionic acidemia. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The Screening, Technology And Research in Genetics (STAR-G) Project has a fact sheet on this condition, which was written specifically for families that have received a diagnosis as a result of newborn screening. This fact sheet provides general information about the condition and answers questions that are of particular concern to parents.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • 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 Propionic acidemia. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.