D-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria in a patient with a severe clinical phenotype and unusual MRI findings

M. Wajner*, C. R. Vargas, C. Funayama, A. Fernandez, M. L.C. Elias, S. I. Goodman, C. Jakobs, M. S. Van Der Knaap

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We report an infant with intermittent urinary excretion of D-2-hydroxyglutaric (D-2-OHG) acid who died at the age of 10 months from cardiogenic shock due to cardiomyopathy. High urinary concentrations of D-2-OHG and succinic acid, as well as increased levels of lactic acid were detected on three different occasions, whereas a normal urinary profile of organic acids was found on one occasion. The clinical findings of our patient consisted of generalized hypotonia, irritability, developmental delay, generalized tonic seizures, lethargy, cardiomyopathy, and respiratory distress. Cerebral MRI revealed bilateral lesions in the substantia nigra, the periaqueductal area, the medial part of the thalamus, the hypothalamus, the caudate nucleus, putamen and globus pallidus. This pattern is suggestive of a mitochondriopathy. However, respiratory chain enzyme activities were normal in fibroblasts. Exogenous supplementation of D-2-OHG acid strongly inhibited cytochrome-c oxidase activity in fibroblasts from the patient and from normal controls in vitro. The results suggest that our patient has an unusual form of D-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria (D-2-OHGA), different from the patients published so far, and that the increase of lactic acid and some citric acid cycle intermediates encountered in some patients with D-2-OHGA may be due to a functional defect of the respiratory chain caused by D-2-OHG acid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Inherited Metabolic Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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