High-dose hydroxocobalamin achieves biochemical correction and improvement of neuropsychiatric deficits in adults with late onset cobalamin C deficiency

Tomoyasu Higashimoto, Alexander Y. Kim, Jessica T. Ogawa, Jennifer L. Sloan, Mohammed A. Almuqbil, Julia M. Carlson, Irini Manoli, Charles P. Venditti, Meral Gunay-Aygun, Tao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cobalamin C (cblC) deficiency is the most common inborn error of intracellular cobalamin metabolism caused by pathogenic variant(s) in MMACHC and manifests with methylmalonic acidemia, hyperhomocysteinemia, and hypomethioninemia with a variable age of presentation. Individuals with late-onset cblC may be asymptomatic until manifesting neuropsychiatric symptoms, thromboembolic events, and renal disease. Although hydroxocobalamin provides a foundation for therapy, optimal dose regimen for adult patients has not been systematically evaluated. We report three adult siblings with late-onset cblC disease, and their biochemical and clinical responses to high-dose hydroxocobalamin. The 28-year-old proband presented with severe psychosis, progressive neurological deterioration, and deep venous thrombosis complicated by a pulmonary embolism. MRI studies identified lesions in the spinal cord, periventricular white matter, and basal ganglia. Serum homocysteine and methylmalonic acid levels were markedly elevated. Hydroxocobalamin at standard dose (1 mg/day) initially resulted in partial metabolic correction. A regimen of high-dose hydroxocobalamin (25 mg/day) together with betaine and folic acid resulted in rapid and sustainable biochemical correction, resolution of psychosis, improvement of neurological functions, and amelioration of brain and spinal cord lesions. Two siblings who did not manifest neuropsychiatric symptoms or thromboembolism achieved a satisfactory metabolic control with the same high-dose regimen. Hydroxocobalamin injection was then spaced out to 25 mg weekly with good and sustainable metabolic control. All three patients are compound heterozygotes for c.271dupA p.Arg91LysfsX14 and c.389A > G p.Tyr130Cys. This study highlights the importance of evaluating intracellular cobalamin metabolism in adults with neuropsychiatric manifestations and/or thromboembolic events, and demonstrates that high-dose hydroxocobalamin achieves rapid and sustainable metabolic control and improvement in neuropsychiatric outcomes in adults with late-onset cblC disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalJIMD Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Hydroxocobalamin
  • cblC
  • cobalamin C
  • combined methylmalonic acidemia and homocystinuria
  • intracellular cobalamin metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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