Send to

Choose Destination
Insights Imaging. 2013 Aug;4(4):443-59. doi: 10.1007/s13244-013-0246-8. Epub 2013 May 5.

Imaging findings of mucopolysaccharidoses: a pictorial review.

Author information

Radiodiagnostic and Oncological Radiotherapy Unit, University Hospital "Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele", Via Santa Sofia 78, 95123, Catania, Italy,



Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) represent a heterogeneous group of inheritable lysosomal storage diseases in which the accumulation of undegraded glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) leads to progressive damage of affected tissues. The typical symptoms include organomegaly, dysostosis multiplex, mental retardation and developmental delay. Definitive diagnosis is usually possible through enzymatic assays of the defective enzyme in cultured fibroblasts or leukocytes.


Radiological and neuroradiological findings are reported. The most important neuroradiological features include abnormal signal intensity in the white matter, dilatation of periventricular spaces, widening of cortical sulci, brain atrophy, enlargement of extraventricular spaces and spinal cord compression. With reference to the skeletal system, most important radiological findings include multiplex dysostosis, which is represented by several bone malformations found in the skull, hands, legs, arms and column. The abnormal storage of GAGs leads to liver and spleen enlargement; it also damages cartilage layers and synovial recesses in the joints.


The aim of this pictorial essay is to describe the imaging findings of MPS, represented by skeletal and neurological features; skeletal X-ray and MR allow an assessment of the severity of disease, to plan medical and surgical therapy and to evaluate response to treatment.


• To describe the imaging findings common to different types of MPS. • To describe multiplex dysostosis encountered in the axial and appendicular skeleton. • To evaluate neuroradiological features of MPS, including brain abnormal signal intensity and atrophy. • To evaluate important otorhinolaryngological problems, such as otitis media and airways obstruction.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center