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Phenotypic and genetic spectra of galactose mutarotase deficiency: A nationwide survey conducted in Japan.

PURPOSE: Galactose mutarotase (GALM) deficiency was first reported in 2019 as the fourth type of galactosemia. This study aimed to investigate the clinical and genotypic spectra of GALM deficiency.

METHODS: This was a questionnaire-based retrospective survey conducted in Japan between February 2022 and March 2023.

RESULTS: We identified 40 patients with GALM deficiency in Japan (estimated prevalence: 1:181,835). Four of 38 patients (10.5%) developed cataracts, which resolved with lactose restriction in three out of four patients. Transient transaminitis was the most common symptom (23.1%). All the patients followed lactose restriction; discontinuation of the restriction after infancy did not cause any complications. Moreover, none of the participants experienced long-term complications. Two variants, GALM NM_138801.3: c.294del and c.424G>A, accounted for 72.5% of the identified pathogenic variants. The patients showed moderately elevated blood galactose levels with lactose intake; however, the elevation was lower than that observed in galactokinase deficiency.

CONCLUSIONS: GALM deficiency is characterized by a similar but milder phenotype and lower blood galactose elevation than in galactokinase deficiency. Diagnosis and initiation of lactose restriction in early infancy should be essential for prevention of cataracts, especially in cases of irreversible opacity.

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