Discriminative clinical and neuroimaging features of motor-predominant hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids and primary progressive multiple sclerosis: A preliminary cross-sectional study.
BACKGROUND : Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids (HDLS) is a rare autosomal-dominant white matter disease, typically characterized by juvenile cognitive decline and frontoparietal white matter lesions. A portion of HDLS patients exhibit preferential motor dysfunctions as their initial symptoms, mimicking multiple sclerosis (MS). However, there is no study comparing this phenotype of HDLS and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), which greatly resemble each other. This is the first preliminary study to clarify the clinical and neuroimaging features of motor-predominant HDLS, and compare it with PPMS, using cases whose colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) were sequenced. METHODS : Clinical and radiological data from Japanese patients at the Department of Neurology, Kyushu University Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan, were evaluated retrospectively and cross-sectionally. Twenty-nine brain and 18 spinal cord magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans from four motor-predominant HDLS patients with CSF1R mutations and 15 PPMS patients without CSF1R mutations, were evaluated using an HDLS MRI scoring system. RESULTS : Two patients with HDLS were initially diagnosed with MS and received immunotherapy. Clinically, motor-predominant HDLS and PPMS patients resembled each other in onset age and disability. However, motor-predominant HDLS patients had a significantly higher frequency of frontal release signs, lower positivity rates of oligoclonal IgG bands (OCB), and lower IgG index values. Total HDLS MRI scores, total white matter lesions (WMLs), and brain atrophy were similar between the diseases. However, motor-predominant HDLS patients had more marked atrophy of the corpus callosum (CC) body, more WMLs in the deep and subcortical regions of the frontoparietal lobes, fewer WMLs in the occipitotemporal periventricular regions, and more restricted diffusivity lesions on MRI than PPMS patients. There was a stronger association between disease duration and CC index in HDLS, suggesting more rapid progression compared with PPMS. CONCLUSIONS : Motor-predominant HDLS has characteristic frequent frontal release signs, normal findings for OCB and the IgG index, severe CC body atrophy, abundant deep and subcortical WMLs in the frontoparietal lobes, subtle occipitotemporal lobe periventricular WMLs, and more restricted diffusivity lesions on MRI. Although the present study was limited by the small number of HDLS cases, we propose that immunotherapy should be avoided in such cases.