Generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) is a life-threatening disorder in young infants. Cardiovascular symptoms are usually apparent within the first month of life. The symptoms are caused by calcification of large and medium-sized arteries, including the aorta, coronary arteries, and renal arteries. Most of the patients die by 6 months of age because of heart failure. Recently, homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations for the ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (ENPP1) gene were reported as causative for the disorder. ENPP1 regulates extracellular inorganic pyrophosphate (PP i ), a major inhibitor of extracellular matrix calcification. A newborn was diagnosed with GACI. The infant died at the age of 7 weeks of cardiac failure and the parents were referred to Molecular Biology and Cytogenetic lab for further workup. Cytogenetics analysis was performed on the parents, which showed normal karyotypes and mutational analysis for the ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (ENPP1) gene was also performed. The mutational analysis showed that both father and mother of the deceased infant were heterozygous carriers of the mutation c.749C>T (p.P250L) in exon 7 of ENPP1 and it was likely, that the deceased child carried the same mutation homozygous on both alleles and died of GACI resulting from this ENPP1 mutation. The couple was counseled and monitored for the second pregnancy. Amniocentesis was performed at 15 weeks of gestation for mutational analysis of the same gene in the second pregnancy. The analysis was negative for the parental mutations. One month after the birth of a healthy infant, peripheral blood was collected from the baby and sent for reconfirmation. The results again were negative for the mutation and the baby was on 6 months follow up and no major symptoms were seen. The parents of the child benefited enormously by learning about the disease much in advance and also its risk of recurrence. The main aim of this study is to emphasize on two aspects: (i) the importance of modern molecular techniques in diagnosis such a syndrome and (2) the difficulties faced by the physician to provide appropriate diagnosis and the adequate genetic counseling to the family without molecular facilities.
Key words: Cytogenetics, ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 encoding gene, prenatal diagnostic testing, pyrophosphate.