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.
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.
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.
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.
How well a patient does depends on the amount of brain and nervous system problems.
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.
High doses of fat-soluble vitamins may slow the progression of some problems, such as retina damage and decreased vision.
Abetalipoproteinemia; Acanthocytosis; Apolipoprotein B deficiency
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.
Updated 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.
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