Screening for tetrahydrobiopterin deficiencies using dried blood spots on filter paper.Mol Genet Metab. 2005 Dec; 86 Suppl 1:S96-103.MG
Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) deficiency among newborns with hyperphenylalaninemia must be rapidly diagnosed and distinguished from classical phenylketonuria (PKU) to initiate immediately specific treatment and to prevent irreversible neurological damage. The characteristic pattern of urinary pterins makes it possible to differentiate between PKU and BH4 deficiencies, and to identify different variants of BH4 deficiency. However, collection, storage, and shipment of urine samples for pterin analysis is cumbersome. A method for the measurement of different pterins (neopterin, biopterin, and pterin) in blood collected on filter paper was developed as a potential alternative to the screening for BH4 deficiencies in urine and for the monitoring of BH4 pharmacokinetics. Pterins pattern in blood spots was comparable with those in plasma and urine. We thus established reference values for pterins in blood spots in patients with hyperphenylalaninemia and identified new patients with GTP cyclohydrolase I deficiency, 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase deficiency, and dihydropteridine reductase deficiency using dried blood spots on filter paper.