Excretion patterns of pyrimidines and purines in patients with various types of hyperammonemia have been investigated by 2-dimensional thin-layer chromatography and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). For the quantitative analysis of pseudouridine, uracil and uridine a new procedure has been developed, consisting of pre-fractionation with Dowex 1 × 8, followed by dual column HPLC on a strong anion-exchanger and a reverse phase column. Thymine has also been analyzed in the pre-fractionated urine by a new HPLC method using the reverse phase column in combination with a strong cation-exchange column. Quantitative data for urinary pyrimidines and uric acid in hyperammonemia are given. In patients with a defect in one of the urea cycle enzymes, the level of pyrimidine excretion was found to depend on plasma ammonia concentrations. In other hyperammonemic patients, an increased excretion of orotic acid, uracil and uridine has only been found in one of the two patients with lysinuric protein intolerance, all other patients showing normal excretion patterns. Elevated uric acid excretions have been found frequently in our patients with hyperammonemia, but they did not always coincide with high plasma ammonia levels. A possible explanation for the difference in the excretion levels of the various pyrimidines is discussed
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