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Clinical features and neurologic progression of hyperargininemia.

Hyperargininemia is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder caused by a deficiency of enzyme arginase I. It is a rare pan-ethnic disease with a clinical presentation distinct from that of other urea cycle disorders, and hyperammonemic encephalopathy is not usually observed. Hyperargininemia is one of the few treatable causes of pediatric spastic paraparesis, and can be confused with cerebral palsy. We retrospectively evaluated the clinical onset, neurologic manifestations, progression of abnormalities, electroencephalographic abnormalities, and laboratory findings of 16 Brazilian patients with hyperargininemia. Relevant data about the clinical spectrum and natural history of hyperargininemia are detailed. Progressive spastic diplegia constituted the key clinical abnormality in this group, but variability in clinical presentation and progression were evident in our series. Seizures in hyperargininemia may be more common than reported in previous studies. Features distinguishing hyperargininemia from cerebral palsy and hereditary spastic paraplegia are emphasized in this large series of patients.

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