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Short-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency

(Short • chain • ace-uhl • koh-AY • dee-hie-DRAH-juh-nace • di-FISH-uhn-see)

General Condition Information

Other Names

  • SCAD deficiency
  • Short chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Short chain acylCoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Short-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Short-chain ACYL-COA dehydrogenase deficiency

Condition Type

Birth Prevalence

  • Each year, over 100 babies in the United States are born with short-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency.
  • Visit GeneReviews to learn more about how often this condition occurs.

Screening Finding

High C4 acylcarnitine levels

What is Short-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency

Short-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (SCAD) deficiency is an inherited (genetic) condition that prevents the body from breaking down certain fats and turning them into energy.

SCAD is an enzyme that processes types of fat called short-chain fatty acids so your body can use or get rid of them. 

Babies who do not have enough of this enzyme may have trouble using fats for energy. Breaking down fat for energy allows your body to work properly, and it is especially important after a long time without food (fasting) and during illness.

Typically, babies with SCAD deficiency have very few signs and symptoms. In fact, most health care providers consider SCAD deficiency to be just a change in the body and not a condition.

Newborn Screening and Follow-Up

Condition Details

Treatment and Management

Babies and children with SCAD deficiency typically do not need any treatment. If your baby does have signs and symptoms of SCAD deficiency, it is important to talk to your health care provider about which treatment(s), if any, your baby needs. 

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