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Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome

Definition

Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome is a rare disease passed down through families in which a person is unable to fully absorb dietary fats through the intestines.

Alternative Names

Abetalipoproteinemia; Acanthocytosis; Apolipoprotein B deficiency

Causes

Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome is caused by a defect in a gene that tells the body to create lipoproteins (molecules of fat combined with protein). The defect makes it hard for the body to properly digest fat and essential vitamins.

It is an autosomal recessive condition that more often affects males.

Symptoms


Exams and Tests

There may be damage to the retina of the eye (retinitis pigmentosa).

Tests that may be done to help diagnose this condition include:

Genetic testing may be available for mutations in the MTP gene.

Treatment

Treatment involves large doses of vitamin supplements containing fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K).

Linoleic acid supplements are also recommended.

People with this condition should talk to a nutritionist. Diet changes are needed to prevent stomach problems. This involves:

Supplements of medium-chain triglycerides are taken under the supervision of a doctor or nutritionist. They should be used with caution, because they may cause liver damage.

Outlook (Prognosis)

How well a patient does depends on the amount of brain and nervous system problems.

Possible Complications


When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if your infant or child has symptoms of this disease. Genetic counseling can help families understand the condition and the risks of inheriting it, and learn how to care for the patient.

Prevention

High doses of fat-soluble vitamins may slow the progression of some problems, such as retina damage and decreased vision.

References

Neal WA. Defects in the metabolism of lipids. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW III, Shor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 80.


Review Date: 9/8/2013
Reviewed By: Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, FACMG, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Section on Medical Genetics, Winston-Salem, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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