Neonatal intrahepatic cholestasis caused by citrin deficiency (NICCD) as a cause of liver disease in infants in the UK.

T Hutchin, MA Preece, C Hendriksz, A Chakrapani, V McClelland, F Okumura, YZ Song, M Iijima, K Kobayashi, T Saheki, Patrick McKiernan, Ulrich Baumann

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Citrin deficiency is a disorder with two phenotypes: neonatal intrahepatic cholestasis caused by citrin deficiency (NICCD), and adult-onset type II citrullinaemia (CTLN2). NICCD presents in the first few weeks of life with prolonged cholestasis and metabolic abnormalities including aminoacidaemia (notably citrulline, tyrosine, threonine, arginine and methionine) and galactosuria. Symptoms resolve within the first year of life, thus making a diagnosis difficult after this time. Although patients subsequently remain generally healthy, some may develop more severe symptoms of CTLN2, characterized by neurological changes, one or more decades later. To date more than 400 cases have been reported, almost all from East Asia (mainly Japan). Here we describe the first two cases of NICCD in infants from the UK, one of caucasian origin and one of Pakistani origin. Both showed typical clinical and biochemical changes with a diagnosis confirmed by the presence of previously unreported mutations in the SLC25A13 gene. The presence of citrin deficiency in other ethnic groups means that NICCD needs to be considered in the diagnosis of any neonate with an unexplained cholestasis. We discuss both the difficulties in diagnosing these patients in populations where very few DNA mutations have been identified and the problems faced in the management of these patients. These findings also raise the possibility of adults with CTLN2 in whom a diagnosis has yet to be made.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Inherited Metabolic Disease
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2009


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