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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Barth syndrome


Other Names for this Disease
  • 3-methylglutaconic aciduria type II
  • BTHS
  • Cardioskeletal myopathy with neutropenia and abnormal mitochondria
  • MGA type II
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Tests & Diagnosis


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Is genetic testing available for Barth syndrome?

Genetic testing is available for Barth syndrome. GeneTests lists laboratories that are offering clinical genetic testing for this condition. To view the contact information for these laboratories, click here. Please note that most of the laboratories listed through GeneTests do not accept direct contact from patients and their families; therefore, if you are interested in learning more, you will need to work with a health care provider or a genetics professional.
Last updated: 6/3/2011

How is Barth syndrome diagnosed?

Barth syndrome may be diagnosed during infancy or early childhood (or, in some cases, at a later age), based upon a thorough clinical evaluation, identification of characteristic physical findings, a complete patient and family history, and a variety of specialized tests. Experts indicate that a diagnosis of Barth syndrome should be considered for any male infant or child with dilated cardiomyopathy of unknown cause (idiopathic); low levels of circulating neutrophils (neutropenia); elevated urinary levels of 3-methylglutaconic acid (aciduria); abnormal mitochondria within heart muscle; and/or muscle abnormalities (myopathy) of unknown cause that occur in association with growth retardation. For infants and children with signs of cardiomyopathy, metabolic screening tests should be conducted, including studies to measure levels of 3-methylglutaconic acid and other organic acids in the urine and blood. An elevated urinary level of 3-methylglutaconic acid (3-methylglutaconic aciduria) has been recognized as a diagnostic sign of Barth syndrome. Persistent low levels of neutrophils in the blood help to confirm the diagnosis in combination with these other signs. Diagnosis may also be confirmed via genetic testing.[3578]
Last updated: 6/3/2011


Newborn Screening

  • An ACTion (ACT) sheet for this condition has been developed by experts in collaboration with the American College of Medical Genetics, an organization providing education, resources and a voice for the medical genetics profession. ACT sheets are general guidelines that describe the short-term actions a health professional should follow in talking with the family and deciding the appropriate steps in the follow-up of an infant who has screened positive on a newborn screening test. Click on the link above to view the ACT sheet.
  • An Algorithm for this condition has been developed by experts in collaboration with the American College of Medical Genetics, an organization providing education, resources and a voice for the medical genetics profession. Algorithms are general guidelines for healthcare providers outlining steps involved in determining the diagnosis of an infant who has screened positive on a newborn screening test. Click on the link above to view the Algorithm.
  • Baby's First Test is the nation's newborn screening education center for families and providers. This site provides information and resources about screening at the local, state, and national levels and serves as the Clearinghouse for newborn screening information.
  • National Newborn Screening and Global Resource Center (NNSGRC) provides information and resources in the area of newborn screening and genetics to benefit health professionals, the public health community, consumers and government officials.