Very Long-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (VLCAD)



Very-long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (VLCAD) is a condition in which the body is unable to break down certain fats. Individuals affected by VLCAD are unable to convert some of the fats they eat into energy the body needs to function. Instead, too many unused fatty acids build up in the body. If untreated, VLCAD can cause brain damage and even death. However, if the condition is detected early in life and proper treatment is begun, individuals affected with VLCAD often can lead healthy lives. Signs of VLCAD can start anytime between infancy and adulthood. These signs include sleeping longer or more often, tiredness, behavior changes, irritability, poor appetite, fever, diarrhea, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and muscle weakness (hypotonia). Many of these signs may occur when a baby eats foods the body cannot break down. Symptoms can be triggered by long periods of time without eating, illnesses, and infections.

Condition Type:

Core Conditions


The exact number of individuals affected by very-long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (VLCAD) is unknown. Some estimates suggest that the condition may affect as many as 1 out of every 30,000 people.

More Information for Parents:
Also known as:
  • Very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Very long-chain acyl-coenzyme a dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Acyl-CoA dehydrogenase very long chain deficiency
  • LCAD

Core Conditions