Bilateral Pulvinar Signal Intensity Decrease on T2-Weighted Images in Patients with Aspartylglucosaminuria

Autti, T.; Lonnqvist, T.; Joensuu, R.
August 2008
Acta Radiologica;Aug2008, Vol. 49 Issue 6, p687
Academic Journal
Background: Aspartylglucosaminuria (AGU) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal disease caused by deficiency of aspartylglucosaminidase. A thalamic T2 signal intensity decrease is associated with lysosomal diseases. Purpose: To investigate thalamic signal intensity in AGU by performing a retrospective review of brain magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies of AGU patients. Material and Methods: A total of 25 MR examinations were available for 11 patients aged between 3 and 32 years (four patients underwent bone marrow transplantation). Of these, 13 examinations were performed after bone marrow transplantation. Five patients had from two to six examinations, and six patients had one examination each. In every patient, the diagnosis of AGU was confirmed by blood and urine tests. Eighteen examinations were performed with a 1.0T imager including dual spin-echo T2 and proton density (PD) axial and coronal images, and 10 examinations also included T1-weighted images. Seven examinations were performed with a 1.5T imager including turbo spin-echo axial and coronal T2-weighted images and axial fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images; three examinations included T1-weighted three-dimensional magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient-echo (3D MPRAGE) images. The signal intensity of the thalamus and pulvinar in every sequence was compared to that of the putamina. Results: In AGU, thalamic alterations were first detectable on T2-weighted images (25 examinations in 11 patients) from the age of 3 years 6 months, showing decreased signal intensity in 21 of 24 examinations. T1-weighted images (13 examinations) showed slightly increased thalamic signal intensity in five out of seven examinations from the age of 7 years, and PD images (19 examinations) showed decreased signal intensity from the age of 16 years (three examinations). The pulvinar showed decreased signal intensity on spin-echo T2-weighted images for 14 of 18 examinations or on FLAIR sequences for seven of seven examinations from the age of 6 years and 6 months, both in patients with and without bone marrow transplantation, but no pulvinar alterations were observable on T1 and PD images. Conclusion: In AGU, the thalamus is affected. Pulvinar changes are visible only on T2-weighted images, and these may be the first changes reported in the group of lysosomal diseases.


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