Pyruvate kinase deficiency
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency of red cells
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency of erythrocytes
- PK deficiency
Your QuestionMy child, who is under 6 months old, has pyruvate kinase deficiency. What impact will this diagnosis have for her in the future?
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Pyruvate kinase deficiency can produce mild or severe hemolysis (red cell breakdown) and anemia. Problems may first appear in the newborn as prolonged jaundice and anemia. Red blood cell transfusion may be necessary if the hemoglobin value falls signficantly. This tends to occur in early childhood or times of physiologic stress such as infections or pregnancy. Splenectomy may be needed in those who have more severe anemia. Older children may be pale (due to anemia), have intermittent episodes of jaundice and splenomegaly. Mild cases may escape detection until adulthood.
People who have mild to moderate forms of pyruvate kinase deficiency tend to do very well long term. People with more severe forms of the disease are mostly symptomatic during early childhood. Following early childhood, the condition is much better tolerated.
An article from eMedicine Journal provides additional information on treatment for pyruvate kinase deficiency at the following link. You may need to register to view the article, but registration is free.
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