Multiple carboxylase deficiency (MCD) is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder characterized primarily by cutaneous and neurologic abnormalities. Symptoms result from the patient's inability to reutilize biotin, a necessary nutrient. Sweetman recognized that multiple carboxylase deficiency could be classified into early and late forms. The early form showed higher urinary excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid and 3-hydroxypropionic acid than the late form and was associated with normal plasma biotin concentrations. Sweetman proposed a defect in holocarboxylase synthetase and intestinal biotin absorption, respectively.