eISSN: 1509-572x
ISSN: 1641-4640
Folia Neuropathologica
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Original paper

Neuropathological characteristics of the brain in two patients with SLC19A3 mutations related to the biotin-thiamine-responsive basal ganglia disease

Maciej Pronicki, Dorota Piekutowska-Abramczuk, Elżbieta Jurkiewicz, Dariusz Rokicki, Elżbieta Ciara, Joanna Trubicka, Katarzyna Iwanicka-Pronicka, Magdalena Pajdowska, Marek Migdał, Wieslawa A. Grajkowska

Folia Neuropathol 2017; 55 (2): 146-153
Biotin-thiamine-responsive basal ganglia disease is a severe form of a rare neurogenetic disorder caused by pathogenic molecular variants in the thiamine transporter gene. Nowadays, a potentially effective treatment is known, therefore the early diagnosis is mandatory. The aim of the paper was to assess the contribution of neuropathological and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies to a proper diagnosis. We present the brain study of two Polish patients with SLC19A3 mutations, including (1) an infant with an intriguing “walnut” appearance of the brain autopsied many years before the discovery of the SLC19A3 defect, and (2) a one-year-old patient with clinical features of Leigh syndrome. In patient 2, biotin/thiamine responsiveness was not tested at the time of diagnosis and causal treatment started with one-year delay.

The central nervous system lesions found in the patients displayed almost clearly a specific pattern for SLC19A3 defect, as previously proposed in diagnostic criteria. Our study presents a detailed description of neuropathological and MRI findings of both patients.

We confirm that the autopsy and/or MRI of the brain is sufficient to qualify a patient with an unknown neuropathological disorder directly for SLC19A3 mutations testing and a prompt trial of specific treatment.


basal ganglia disease, SLC19A3 mutations, MRI, autopsy, neuropathology, thiamine transporter

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