Monday, April 13, 2020

Relapsing-remitting clinical course expands the phenotype of Aicardi-Goutières syndrome

Lambe J, Murphy OC, Mu W, Sondergaard Schatz K, Barañano KW, Venkatesan A. Relapsing-remitting clinical course expands the phenotype of Aicardi-Goutières syndrome. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2020;7(2):254–258. doi:10.1002/acn3.50979

Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS) is a rare and likely underdiagnosed genetic leukoencephalopathy, typically presenting in infancy with encephalopathy and characteristic neuroimaging features, with residual static neurological deficits. We describe a patient who, following an initial presentation at the age of 12 months in keeping with AGS, exhibited a highly atypical relapsing course of neurological symptoms in adulthood with essentially normal neuroimaging. Whole-exome sequencing confirmed a pathogenic RNASEH2B gene variant consistent with AGS. This case highlights the expanding phenotypes associated with AGS and the potential role of whole-exome sequencing in facilitating an increase in the rate of diagnosis.

Courtesy of a colleague

Gilani A, Adang LA, Vanderver A, Collins A, Kleinschmidt-DeMasters BK. Neuropathological Findings in a Case of IFIH1-Related Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2019;22(6):566–570. doi:10.1177/1093526619837797


Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS) is a rare syndrome characterized by calcification, diffuse demyelination, and variable degree of brain atrophy. The syndrome is genetically heterogeneous with mutations in 7 genes, including TREX1, RNASEH2A, RNASEH2B, RNASEH2C, SAMHD1, ADAR1, and IFIH1 (interferon-induced helicase c domain-containing protein 1) associated with the syndrome, so far. These mutations lead to the overproduction of α-interferon within the central nervous system. Mutations in IFIH1 have been recently described in a subset of AGS, with only 1 previous report of neuropathological findings. We report neuropathological findings in a second case of AGS with a known mutation in IFIH1 gene. The patient is a 16-year-old adolescent boy with early-onset symptoms that progressed to profound loss of cognitive and motor functions. The patient experienced sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at the age of 16 years. At autopsy, the cause of death was determined to be pulmonary thromboembolism. Neuropathological examination revealed microcephaly (brain weight: 916 g) with relatively mild brain atrophy on gross examination. Microscopic examination revealed multifocal calcifications limited to small to medium central nervous system arteries (no evidence of calcification in other organs), involving bilateral cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebellum. Ultrastructural examination showed Calcospherules limited to the vessel walls and the perivasulcar area without evidence of neuronal ferrugination or tubuloreticular bodies. The extent of calcifications was variable across different brain regions, resembling findings in previously reported cases and correlated with the extent of IFIH1 protein expression (data derived from Allen Brain Institute). AGS is a rare cause of brain calcifications that can closely mimic congenital and neonatal infections such as Rubella and similar infections.

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