Alkaptonuria is a rare genetic disorder resulting in abnormality of tyrosine metabolism. It is one of the Garrod’s tetrad of ‘inborn errors of metabolism’ proposed to have Mendelian recessive inheritance. The disorder is characterised by deposition of homogentisic acid leading to ochronosis and ochronotic osteoarthropathy; however, blackish discoloration of urine is the only childhood manifestation. Other manifestations present only after third decade. A 13-year-old boy presented to paediatric nephrology clinic with blackish discolouration of urine since infancy. Examination revealed bluish black discolouration of bilateral sclera and ear cartilage; however, he had no symptoms of ochronotic osteoarthropathy. Genetic test pointed towards alkaptonuria. Currently, he is on regular follow-up and is being treated with vitamin C to delay the progression of the disease. Early diagnosis with appropriate intervention delays the onset of complications and preserves the quality of life of the patient.
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Contributors SG and SC contributed to the planning, literature review, drafting, editing and submission of this work. SG and JJ generated the idea for publication, and contributed equally to the planning, case review, drafting and editing of this work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.