Pyruvate kinase deficiency
St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

Pyruvate kinase deficiency

Definition

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is an inherited lack of the enzyme pyruvate kinase, which is used by red blood cells. Without this enzyme, red blood cells break down too easily, resulting in low levels of these cells (hemolytic anemia).

Causes

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is passed down as an autosomal recessive trait. A child must receive the non-working gene from both parents to develop the disorder.

There are many different types of enzyme-related defects of the red blood cell that can cause hemolytic anemia. Pyruvate kinase deficiency is the second most common cause, after G-6-PD deficiency.

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is found in people of all ethnic backgrounds. However, certain populations, such as the Amish, are somewhat more likely to develop the condition.

Symptoms

  • Anemia
  • A yellowing of the whites of the eyes (icterus)
  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Jaundice
  • Pale skin (pallor)

Exams and Tests

During a physical exam, the doctor will look for an enlarged spleen.

Tests include the following:

Treatment

People with severe anemia may need blood transfusions. Removing the spleen (splenectomy) may help reduce the destruction of red blood cells. However, this does not help in all cases. In newborns with dangerous levels of jaundice, the health care provider may recommend an exchange transfusion.

Someone who had a splenectomy should receive the pneumococcal vaccine at recommended intervals. They also should receive preventive antibiotics until age 5.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome varies. Some people have few or no symptoms. Others have severe symptoms. Treatment can usually make symptoms less severe.

Possible Complications

Gallstones are a common problem. They are made of too much bilirubin, which is produced during hemolytic anemia. Severe pneumococcal disease is a possible complication after splenectomy.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

See your health care provider if:

  • You have jaundice (this is a symptom of many severe illnesses)
  • You have a family history of this disorder and are planning to have children

Prevention

Genetic counseling can help prospective parents with a family history of pyruvate kinase deficiency. People who carry the gene can often be diagnosed by finding decreased RBC pyruvate kinase activity in their red blood cells.

References

Segel GB. Enzymatic defects. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme J, Schor N, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 457.


Review Date: 2/2/2012
Reviewed By: Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, 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, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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.
adam.com
 


Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
History
Mission
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs
Assessment

Newsroom
Services
Brain & Spine
Cancer
Heart
Maternity
Orthopedics
Pulmonary
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
mystlukes
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Health Risk Assessments
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Volunteer
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
Careers
Careers
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile