IDST - Clinical: Alpha-L-Iduronidase, Fibroblasts

Test Catalog

Test Name

Test ID: IDST    
Alpha-L-Iduronidase, Fibroblasts

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

Diagnosis of mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I), Hurler syndrome (MPS IH), Scheie syndrome (MPS IS), and Hurler-Scheie syndrome (MPS IH/S) in fibroblasts

Genetics Test Information Provides information that may help with selection of the correct test or proper submission of the test request

Diagnostic testing. Not recommended for carrier detection.


Fibroblasts are the preferred specimen since testing for other mucopolysaccharide storage diseases may be necessary.


This test is not recommended for prenatal testing.

Testing Algorithm Delineates situation(s) when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

When this test is ordered, a fibroblast culture and cryopreservation for biochemical studies will always be performed at an additional charge. However, for multiple lysosomal enzyme assays on a patient utilizing fibroblast culture, only 1 culture is required regardless of the number of enzyme assays ordered. If viable cells are not obtained within 10 days, client will be notified.

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

The mucopolysaccharidoses are a group of lysosomal storage disorders caused by the deficiency of any of the enzymes involved in the stepwise degradation of dermatan sulfate, heparan sulfate, keratan sulfate, or chondroitin sulfate also known as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Accumulation of GAGs in lysosomes interferes with normal functioning of cells, tissues, and organs. There are 11 known disorders that involve the accumulation of GAGs. MPS disorders involve multiple organ systems characterized by coarse facial features, cardiac abnormalities, organomegaly, intellectual disabilities, short stature, and skeletal abnormalities.


Mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by a reduced or absent activity of the enzyme alpha-L-iduronidase due to mutations in the IDUA gene. More than 100 mutations have been reported in individuals with MPS I. Deficiency of alpha-L-iduronidase can result in a wide range of phenotypes categorized into 3 syndromes: Hurler syndrome (MPS IH), Scheie syndrome (MPS IS), and Hurler-Scheie syndrome (MPS IH/S). Because these syndromes cannot be distinguished biochemically, they are also referred to as MPS I and attenuated MPS I.


Clinical features and severity of symptoms of MPS I are variable, ranging from severe disease to an attenuated form that generally presents at a later onset with a milder clinical presentation. In general, symptoms may include coarse facies, progressive dysostosis multiplex, hepatosplenomegaly, corneal clouding, hearing loss, intellectual disabilities or learning difficulties, and cardiac valvular disease. The incidence of MPS I is approximately 1 in 100,000 live births. Treatment options include hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and enzyme replacement therapy.


A diagnostic workup in an individual with MPS I typically demonstrates elevated levels of urinary GAGs (MPSQN / Mucopolysaccharides [MPS], Quantitative, Urine) and increased amounts of both dermatan and heparan sulfate detected via liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) (MPSSC / Mucopolysaccharides [MPS] Screen, Urine). Reduced or absent activity of alpha-L-iduronidase in blood spots, fibroblasts (IDST / Alpha-L-Iduronidase, Fibroblasts), leukocytes, or whole blood (IDSWB / Alpha-L-Iduronidase, Blood) can confirm a diagnosis of MPS I; however, enzymatic testing is not reliable for carrier detection. Molecular sequence analysis of the IDUA gene allows for detection of  disease-causing mutations in affected patients and/or pseudodeficiency alleles that cause reduced enzyme activity in vitro but do not cause disease. To date, a clear genotype-phenotype correlation has not been established.

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.

> or =0.87 nmol/min/mg protein

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Mucopolysaccharidosis I is characterized by very low or absent activity of alpha-L-iduronidase; differentiation between Hurler syndrome (MPS IH), Scheie syndrome (MPS IS), and Hurler-Scheie syndrome (MPS IH/S) is dependent on clinical findings.

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

This test cannot reliably determine carrier status for mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I).


The presence of a pseudodeficiency allele may cause reduced activity of alpha-L-iduronidase with the use of artificial substrate, which is used in this assay. This can result in values below the normal reference range, but will typically be greater than levels found in patients with MPS I.


Interfering factors include lack of viable cells, bacterial contamination, failure to transport tissue in an appropriate media, excessive transport time, and exposure of the specimen to temperature extremes (freezing or >30 degrees C).

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

1. Martins AM, Dualibi AP, Norato D, et al: Guidelines for the management of mucopolysaccharidosis type I. J Pediatr 2009 Oct:155(4 Suppl):S32-S46

2. Neufeld EF, Muenzer J: The Mucopolysaccharidoses. In The Online Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. Edited by D Valle, AL Beaudet, B Vogelstein B, et al: New York, McGraw-Hill, 2014. Accessed April 3, 2017. Available at

3. Enns GM, Steiner RD, Cowan TM: Lysosomal disorders: mucopolysaccharidoses. In Pediatric Endocrinology and Inborn Errors of Metabolism. Edited by K Sarafoglou, GF Hoffmann, KS Roth. McGraw-Hill, Medical Publishing Division, 2009, pp 721-730

4. Clarke LA. Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I. 2002 Oct 31 (Updated 2016 Feb 11). In GeneReviews. Edited by RA Pagon, MP Adam, HH Ardinger, et al: University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2016. Accessed February 23, 2016. Available at

Special Instructions and Forms Describes specimen collection and preparation information, test algorithms, and other information pertinent to test. Also includes pertinent information and consent forms to be used when requesting a particular test