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Ann Neurol. 1992 Jul;32(1):66-71.

L-2-hydroxyglutaric acidemia: a novel inherited neurometabolic disease.

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Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Routine screening for organic acids revealed increased and isolated urinary excretion of L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid in 8 mentally retarded patients from five unrelated families, including three pairs of siblings. L-2-Hydroxyglutaric acid concentration was also found to be increased in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and to a lesser extent in plasma. The only other biochemical abnormality was an increased concentration of lysine, both in plasma and in CSF. No organic acid abnormality was found on screening of asymptomatic family members. Patients were of either sex, and became symptomatic during childhood, with moderate to severe mental deficiency in all and definite cerebellar dysfunction in 7. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed an identical abnormal pattern with subcortical leukoencephalopathy, cerebellar atrophy, and signal changes in the putamina and dentate nuclei, in all patients. No specific biochemical function or catabolic pathway involving L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid is known in mammals, including humans. Preliminary loading and dietary studies failed to reveal the origin of the compound. The elevated CSF/plasma ratio suggests that it is in part generated within the central nervous system. This report describes a novel inherited neurometabolic disease, probably autosomal recessive, with distinct clinical, biochemical, and neuroimaging features.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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