Patients with severe biotinidase deficiency (BD), if untreated, may exhibit seizures, psychomotor delay, deafness, ataxia, visual pathology, conjunctivitis, alopecia, and dermatitis. Clinical features normally appear within the first months of life, between two and five. Seizures are one of the most common symptoms in these patients (55%), usually presented as generalized tonic–clonic, and improving within 24 h of biotin treatment. Treatment delay has been associated with irreversible neurological damage, mental retardation, ataxia, paraparesis, deafness, and epilepsy exceptionally.
We report the case of a girl who was admitted at 2.5 months because of vomiting, failure to thrive, flexor spasms, dermatitis, and neurological depression for 1 month. BD was identified and was treated with biotin, stopping seizures and improving symptoms. Developmental delay, paraparesis, optic atrophy, and seizures during febrile illness were observed at follow-up. At the age of 8, she suffered hemigeneralized seizures despite appropriate biotin treatment, so levetiracetam was administered, and epilepsy was controlled. Organic acid measurement was performed to determine whether the child was receiving enough or no biotin.
Even though BD is a rare condition, because the biotinidase screening is a reliable procedure and the disorder is readily treatable, the implementation of extended biotinidase screening will effectively help to prevent any acute and long-term neurological problems as well as the significant morbidity associated with untreated disease. In addition, neonatal screening and early treatment with biotin prevents severe neurological sequelae, such as epilepsy, which has not been thoroughly described in the literature.
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