Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts

Case contributed by Dr Ahmed Abdrabou


Delayed motor and developmental milestones with recurrent attacks of seizures.

Patient Data

Age: 3 years
Gender: Female

Bilateral white matter abnormal signal change that involves the frontotemporal regions on both sides, and to a lesser extent the parietal lobes, with involvement of the subcortical U-fibers. No evidence of diffusion restriction.

Associated are subcortical cysts, noted larger at the temporal poles with other smaller subcortical cysts in the frontal lobes. 

Global atrophic brain changes that are not consistent with patient's age. 

Cavum septum pellucidum and cavum vergae

Case Discussion

Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts, also known as van der Knaap disease, is a rare genetic disease with a mutation that affects astrocytic function. Although this case demonstrates the typical MRI findings, the confirmation of the mutation requires genetic tests that were unfortunately not available. 

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Case information

rID: 65688
Published: 18th Jan 2019
Last edited: 19th Jan 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: Ain Shams University

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