rare hereditary metabolic disorder caused by lack of the organic catalyst or enzyme called catalase. Although a deficiency of catalase activity is noted in many tissues of the body, including the red blood cells, bone marrow, liver, and skin, only about half of the affected persons have symptoms, which consist of recurrent infections of the gums and associated oral structures that may lead to gangrenous lesions. Such lesions are rare after puberty. The disorder has been most frequently reported in Japanese and Korean populations; its estimated frequency in Japan is approximately 2 in 100,000.
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