BackgroundMaple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is an autosomal recessive inherited metabolic disease caused by deficient activity of the branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase (BCKD) enzymatic complex. BCKD is a mitochondrial complex encoded by BCKDHA, BCKDHB, DBT, and DLD genes. MSUD is predominantly caused by Variants in BCKDHA, BCKDHB, and DBT genes encoding the E1α, E1β, and E2 subunits of BCKD complex, respectively. The aim of this study was to characterize the genetic basis of MSUD by identifying the point variants in BCKDHA, BCKDHB, and DBT genes in a cohort of Brazilian MSUD patients and to describe their phenotypic heterogeneity. It is a descriptive cross-sectional study with 21 MSUD patients involving molecular genotyping by Sanger sequencing.ResultsEight new variants predicted as pathogenic were found between 30 variants (damaging and non-damaging) identified in the 21 patients analyzed: one in the BCKDHA gene (p.Tyr120Ter); five in the BCKDHB gene (p.Gly131Val, p.Glu146Glnfs * 13, p.Phe149Cysfs * 9, p.Cys207Phe, and p.Lys211Asn); and two in the DBT gene (p.Glu148Ter and p.Glu417Val). Seventeen pathogenic variants were previously described and five variants showed no pathogenicity according to in silico analysis.ConclusionGiven that most of the patients received late diagnoses, the study results do not allow us to state that the molecular features of MSUD variant phenotypes are predictive of clinical severity.