Trimethylaminuria (fish malodour syndrome) in chronic renal failure

Hippokratia. 2012; 16(1):83-85

E. Hur, O. Gungor, D. Bozkurt, SMK. Bozgul, F. Dusunur, H. Caliskan, A. Berdeli, F. Akcicek, A. Basci, S. Duman


Trimethylaminuria (fish malodour syndrome) is a rare genetic metabolic disorder presented with a body odour which smells like a decaying fish. This odour is highly objectionable, that can be destructive for the social, and work life of the patient. Trimethylamine is derived from the intestinal bacterial degradation of foods that are rich of choline and carnitine. Trimethylamine is normally oxidised by the liver to odourless trimethylamine N-oxide which is excreted in the urine, so, uremia may worsen the condition. Uremia itself may cause more or less unpleasant odour. Poor uremic control may worsen the odour. We reported this case because Trimethylaminuria is not usually considered in the differential diagnosis of malodour in chronic renal failure and it is the first case that shown the association with Trimethylaminuria and chronic renal failure in the literature.