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J Inherit Metab Dis. 1996;19(1):65-75.

Clinical polymorphism of cystinosis encephalopathy. Results of treatment with cysteamine.

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Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.


Of the 26 cystinotic patients over 19 years of age followed in our institution, 7 developed CNS complications at a mean age of 23 years. Two forms were observed. The first, associating cerebellar and pyramidal signs, mental deterioration and finally pseudo-bulbar palsy, may be called cystinosis encephalopathy. The other form resembled a stroke-like episode with coma and hemiplegia or milder symptoms. Hydrocephalus was rare and not associated with clinical symptoms in this series. Cysteamine was administered for longer than 6 months to 4 of the patients with encephalopathy. Two had an almost complete disappearance of their symptoms including the gross abnormalities of MR imaging in one; one improved partially and remained stable, and one continued to deteriorate but was suspected of non-compliance. These results suggest that cysteamine may be an effective treatment of cystinosis encephalopathy and encourage prescription of this drug in cystinosis in order to prevent this complication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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