Interpretive Handbook

Test 88831 :
C5-DC Acylcarnitine, Quantitative, Urine

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

An isolated elevation of glutarylcarnitine (C5-DC) in plasma or newborn screening blood spots is related to a diagnosis of glutaric aciduria type 1 (GA-1), also known as glutaric acidemia type 1. GA-1 is caused by a deficiency of glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase. Follow-up testing is necessary for confirmation. Urinary excretion of C5-DC is a specific biochemical marker of GA-1 that appears to be elevated even in low excretors, affected patients with normal levels of glutaric acid in urine.


GA-1 is characterized by bilateral striatal brain injury leading to dystonia, often a result of acute neurologic crises triggered by illness. Many affected individuals also have macrocephaly. Dietary treatment and aggressive interventions during time of illness are recommended to try to prevent or minimize neurologic injury, which is most likely to occur in infancy and early childhood. Prevalence is approximately 1 in 100,000 individuals.


The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) newborn screening work group published diagnostic algorithms for the follow-up of infants who had a positive newborn screening result. For more information, see URL:

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Evaluation of patients with an abnormal newborn screen showing elevations of C5-DC


Diagnosis of glutaric aciduria type 1 deficiency

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Elevated excretion of C5-DC is a specific biochemical marker of glutaric aciduria type 1 that is elevated in affected patients, apparently even in low excretors or those affected individuals with normal levels of glutaric acid in urine.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

The results of urine acylcarnitines are not informative when the patient is receiving L-carnitine supplements.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

<1.54 millimoles/mole creatinine

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Tortorelli S, Hahn SH, Cowan TM, et al: The urinary excretion of glutarylcarnitine is an informative tool in the biochemical diagnosis of glutaric acidemia type I. Mol Genet Metab 2005;84:137-143

2. Kolker S, Christensen E, Leonar JV, et al: Diagnosis and management of glutaric aciduria type I-revised recommendations. J Inherit Metab Dis 2011:34:677-694