Laboratory diagnosis of galactosemia: A technical standard and guideline of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG)

ACMG Laboratory Quality Assurance Committee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Disclaimer: These ACMG Standards and Guidelines are developed primarily as an educational resource for clinical laboratory geneticists to help them provide quality clinical laboratory genetic services. Adherence to these Standards and Guidelines is voluntary and does not necessarily assure a successful medical outcome. These Standards and Guidelines should not be considered inclusive of all proper procedures and tests or exclusive of other procedures and tests that are reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. In determining the propriety of any specific procedure or test, the clinical laboratory geneticist should apply his or her own professional judgment to the specific circumstances presented by the individual patient or specimen. Clinical laboratory geneticists are encouraged to document in the patient's record the rationale for the use of a particular procedure or test, whether or not it is in conformance with these Standards and Guidelines. They also are advised to take notice of the date any particular guideline was adopted, and to consider other relevant medical and scientific information that becomes available after that date. It also would be prudent to consider whether intellectual property interests may restrict the performance of certain tests and other procedures.Galactosemias are inherited disorders of galactose metabolism due to deficiency in one of the three enzymes involved in the Leloir pathway: galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase, galactokinase, and uridine diphosphate (UDP)-galactose-4′-epimerase. Galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase deficiency, or classic galactosemia, is the most frequent and the most severe of the three enzyme deficiencies; it is characterized by failure to thrive, liver failure, susceptibility to sepsis, and death, if untreated. Newborn screening for classic galactosemia has been implemented in all of the United States, while screening for galactokinase deficiency and UDP-galactose-4′-epimerase deficiency is not universal. Early identification and treatment of galactosemia leads to improved outcome. This document reviews the laboratory methods and best practices for the diagnosis of galactosemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • UDP-galactose-40-epimerase
  • enzyme assay
  • galactokinase
  • galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase
  • galactosemia


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