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Medical Term:

Niemann-Pick disease

Pronunciation: ne'mahn pik

Definition: lipidosis with accumulation of sphingomyelin in histiocytes in the liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow due to a deficiency of sphingomyelinase; associated with hepatosplenomegaly, physical and mental retardation, and neurologic manifestations; macular cherry-red spots may occur at a later stage; occurs most commonly in Ashkenazi Jewish infants and leads to early death; a more benign form may occur in adults. There are several variants: type A, the classic infantile form; type B, the visceral form; type C, the juvenile form; type D, the Nova Scotia variant; and type E, the adult form; all are of autosomal recessive inheritance with types A and B caused by mutation in the acid sphingomyelinase gene (SMPD) on chromosome 11p.

Synonym(s): Niemann disease, sphingomyelin lipidosis

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