Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease

, Volume 31, Supplement 3, pp 477–481

Reversible leukoencephalopathy with acute neurological deterioration and permanent residua in classical homocystinuria: A case report

Short Report

DOI: 10.1007/s10545-007-0791-8

Cite this article as:
Vatanavicharn, N., Pressman, B.D. & Wilcox, W.R. J Inherit Metab Dis (2008) 31: 477. doi:10.1007/s10545-007-0791-8


We report a 24-year-old patient with underlying classical homocystinuria who developed acute neurological deterioration apparently induced by malnutrition secondary to poor compliance with treatment and pancreatitis. Neurological examination revealed stupor, tremor of the upper extremities, spasticity, and Babinski responses of the bilateral lower extremities. The biochemical profile, including marked hypermethioninaemia, hyperhomocysteinaemia, and decreased cystine in plasma, is consistent with cystathionine β-synthase deficiency. Brain MRI showed reversible diffuse white-matter changes without evidence of thrombosis. The clinical features and neuroimaging including diffusion-weighted MRI suggest a demyelinating process similar to other inborn errors of the transsulfuration pathway such as methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency, disorders affecting methylcobalamin metabolism (cobalamin C, D, E, and G disorders), and methionine adenosyltransferase deficiency. She was left with residual spastic paraparesis despite normal follow-up MRI. Our observation suggests that reversible demyelination is another neurological manifestation of classical homocystinuria; however, the pathophysiology is unknown.



cystathionine β-synthase


endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography


fluid-attenuated inversion recovery


total parenteral nutrition

Copyright information

© SSIEM 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Vatanavicharn
    • 1
  • B. D. Pressman
    • 2
  • W. R. Wilcox
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Medical Genetics InstituteCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Imaging, Section of Neuroradiology & Head and Neck Radiology, S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging CenterCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUCLA School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA