Craniocerebral magnetic resonance imaging measurement and findings in Lesch-Nyhan syndrome

James C. Harris, Roland R. Lee, Hyder A. Jinnah, Dean F. Wong, Myron Yaster, R. Nick Bryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide the first comprehensive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessment of brain in a series of patients with Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (LNS), with emphasis on basal ganglia measurements. Design: Routine readings of MRI studies, repeated reading in random order blinded to subject diagnosis, and 3-dimensional volumetric measures of basal ganglia regions. Setting: The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md. Patients: Seven patients with LNS who have hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase levels less than 1.6% and characteristic clinical features of the disorder, which include hyperuricemia, cognitive impairment, and dystonic movement disorder, were compared with 7 age-matched control subjects. Five of the 7 patients demonstrated self-injurious behavior. MRI studies were performed using general anesthesia because of the severity of the movement disorder. Main Outcome Measures: Measurement of brain regions from MRI-obtained images. Results: Routine readings described mild cerebral atrophy in 2 of 7 patients, but no caudate or putamen abnormalities were reported. However, on the directed blinded rereading, small caudates were suspected in 5 of 7 cases, and abnormalities in cerebral size and cranium were identified. Volumetric studies of the patients with LNS confirmed a 34% decrease in caudate volume (P<.001), a 17% decrease in total cerebral volume (P<.03), and a 12% decrease in putamen volume (P=. 19). Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of consistent neuroanatomic abnormalities in LNS. The findings of reduced basal ganglia volume are consistent with the dystonic movement disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-553
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998


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