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The significance of a high plasma ammonia value
  1. S L Chow,
  2. V Gandhi,
  3. S Krywawych,
  4. P T Clayton,
  5. J V Leonard,
  6. A A M Morris
  1. Metabolic Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London WC1N 3JH, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr A Morris
    Willink Biochemical Genetics Unit, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Hospital Road, Pendlebury, Manchester M27 4HA, UK;


At a tertiary referral centre, just over 50% of patients with plasma ammonia values over 200 μmol/l had inborn errors of metabolism. To distinguish artefactual high values from those requiring treatment, the measurement should be repeated immediately if the result is above 200 μmol/l and at lower concentrations if the patient is encephalopathic.

  • ammonia
  • hyperammonaemia
  • organic acidaemia
  • urea cycle
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