Hyperammonaemia due to cobalamin malabsorption in a cat with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Watanabe T, Hoshi K, Zhang C, et al.

J Feline Med Surg 2012;14:942-945.

A 10-year-old domestic shorthair cat showed anorexia, lethargy and ptyalism with hyperammonaemia. Portosystemic shunts were not identified by computed tomography angiography. Biopsy results revealed mild interstinal nephritis and no lesion in the liver. Analysis of urine revealed the presence of a high methylmalonic acid (MMA) concentration. Serum cobalamin (vitamin B(12)) and serum feline trypsin-like immunoreactivity levels were also markedly low. The cat was diagnosed as having exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). After 5 weeks of parenteral cobalamin supplementation, serum cobalamin concentration had increased and urinary MMA concentration had decreased. This case suggests that hyperammonaemia may be caused by accumulation of MMA due to cobalamin malabsorption secondary to feline EPI.