Arginine and Buphenyl in Patients With Argininosuccinic Aciduria (ASA), a Urea Cycle Disorder

2014-08-27 03:43:48 | BioPortfolio


Urea cycle disorders are inherited illnesses in which the body does not produce enough of the chemicals that remove ammonia, a byproduct of protein metabolism, from the blood stream. Elevated ammonia levels can lead to brain damage and death. Argininosuccinic aciduria (ASA) is a type of urea cycle disorder that is characterized specifically by high levels of argininosuccinic acid, a chemical involved in the urea cycle. People with ASA are at risk for serious liver damage, which may be due to the elevated levels of argininosuccinic acid. Sodium phenylbutyrate (Buphenyl-TM) is a drug that has been used to treat other types of urea cycle disorders. This study will evaluate whether Buphenyl-TM in conjunction with decreased arginine dose (in addition to a normal regimen of protein) will improve short-term liver function and decrease plasma citrulline and ASA levels in people with ASA.


The cause of liver damage in people with ASA is unknown. However, because ASA is the only urea cycle disorder that is characterized by both liver damage and elevated levels of argininosuccinic acid, researchers believe that the elevated acid levels cause the liver damage. Common treatments for urea cycle disorders include a low-protein diet and arginine supplementation, which, when combined, help to decrease ammonia levels in the blood. Buphenyl-TM may aid in lowering ammonia and argininosuccinic acid levels. Although Buphenyl-TM has been FDA-approved for use in people with some types of urea cycle disorders, there is little information on the effectiveness of the drug in children with ASA. This study will evaluate whether treatment of ASA patients with Buphenyl-TM in conjunction with lowered doses of arginine improves liver function as measured by short-term assessment of synthetic activity and the use of stable isotope tracers to assess ureagenesis and nitric oxide production.

Initially, participants in this double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study will undergo a 3-day washout period during which no Buphenyl-TM will be given. They will then be randomly assigned to one of two groups: either Buphenyl-TM (500 mg/kg/day or 10 grams/m2) and arginine (100 mg/kg/day or 2 grams/m2)), or arginine alone (500 mg/kg/day or 10 grams/m2). Participants will remain on this initial treatment arm for 1 week, at the conclusion of which an assessment of hepatic synthetic function, ureagenesis, and nitric oxide production will be performed. After this assessment, participants will undergo a second 3-day washout and then crossover to the other treatment arm for 1 week. At the end of the 1-week treatment period, a second assessment will be performed. During the washout period before each treatment period, no Buphenyl-TM will be administered, and arginine will be administered at the standard therapeutic dose of 500 mg/kg/day or 10 grams/2.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Argininosuccinic Aciduria


Sodium Phenylbutyrate (Buphenyl-TM), Arginine


Baylor College of Medicine
United States




Office of Rare Diseases (ORD)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:43:48-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

An enzyme of the urea cycle which splits argininosuccinate to fumarate plus arginine. Its absence leads to the metabolic disease ARGININOSUCCINIC ACIDURIA in man. EC

Rare autosomal recessive disorder of the urea cycle which leads to the accumulation of argininosuccinic acid in body fluids and severe HYPERAMMONEMIA. Clinical features of the neonatal onset of the disorder include poor feeding, vomiting, lethargy, seizures, tachypnea, coma, and death. Later onset results in milder set of clinical features including vomiting, failure to thrive, irritability, behavioral problems, or psychomotor retardation. Mutations in the ARGININOSUCCINATE LYASE gene cause the disorder.

This amino acid is formed during the urea cycle from citrulline, aspartate and ATP. This reaction is catalyzed by argininosuccinic acid synthetase.

Sodium or sodium compounds used in foods or as a food. The most frequently used compounds are sodium chloride or sodium glutamate.

An enzyme that activates arginine with its specific transfer RNA. EC

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