Pyruvate kinase deficiency
Other Names for this Disease
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency of red cells
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency of erythrocytes
- PK deficiency
- Hemolytic anemia due to red cell pyruvate kinase deficiency
Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a genetic blood disorder characterized by low levels of an enzyme called pyruvate kinase, which is used by red blood cells. Without pyruvate kinase, red blood cells break down too easily, resulting in low levels of these cells (hemolytic anemia). The signs and symptoms of the disease may vary greatly from person to person. However, they usually include jaundice, enlargement of the spleen, and mild or severe hemolysis (red cell breakdown), leading to anemia. In some cases, the problems may first appear while in utero, causing a condition in which abnormal amounts of fluid build up in two or more body areas of the fetus (hydrops fetalis). Newborns may present with prolonged jaundice and anemia. Older children may be pale (due to anemia) and have intermittent episodes of jaundice. Mild cases may escape detection until adulthood. Although the anemia tends to stabilize in adulthood, episodes of anemia may occur with acute infections, stress, and pregnancy. Pyruvate kinase deficiency is caused by a mutation in the PKLR gene and is inherited in an autosomal recessive fashion. Treatment remains supportive rather than curative.
Last updated: 1/13/2016
- Haldeman-Englert C. Pyruvate kinase deficiency. MedlinePlus Encyclopedia. January 2010; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001197.htm. Accessed 7/18/2011.
- Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2005; http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/465/viewAbstract. Accessed 7/18/2011.
- Grace RF, Zanella A, Neufeld EJ, Morton DH, Eber S, Yaish H, Glader B. Erythrocyte pyruvate kinase deficiency: 2015 status report. Am J Hematol. 2015 Sep; 90(9):825-30.
- Zanella A, Fermo E, Bianchi P, Chiarelli LR, Valentini G. Pyruvate kinase deficiency: the genotype-phenotype association.. Blood Rev. 2007; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17360088. Accessed 7/18/2011.
- Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Pyruvate kinase deficiency. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
- 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.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a 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 Pyruvate kinase deficiency. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
- Durand PM, Coetzer TL. Pyruvate kinase deficiency protects against malaria in humans. Haematologica. 2008 Jun;93(6):939-40. Epub 2008 May 6.