Liver transplantation for treatment of severe S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency

A child with severe S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase (AHCY) deficiency (AHCY c.428A N G, p.Tyr143Cys; c.982 T N G, p.Tyr328Asp) presented at 8 months of age with growth failure, microcephaly, global developmental delay, myopathy, hepatopathy, and factor VII deficiency. Plasma methionine, S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet), and S-adenosylhomocysteine (AdoHcy) were markedly elevated and the molar concentration ratio of AdoMet:AdoHcy, believed to regulate a myriad of methyltransferase reactions, was 15% of the control mean. Dietary therapy failed to normalize biochemical markers or alter the AdoMet to AdoHcy molar concentration ratio. At 40 months of age, the proband received a liver segment from a healthy, unrelated living donor. Mean AdoHcy decreased 96% and the AdoMet:AdoHcy concentration ratio improved from 0.52 ± 0.19 to 1.48 ± 0.79 mol:mol (control 4.10 ± 2.11 mol:mol). Blood methionine and AdoMet were normal and stable during 6 months of follow-up on an unrestricted diet. Average calculated tissue methyltransferase activity increased from 43 ± 26% to 60 ± 22%, accompanied by signs of increased transmethylation in vivo. Factor VII activity increased from 12% to 100%. During 6 postoperative months, head growth accelerated 4-fold and the patient made promising gains in gross motor, language, and social skills.