Clinical, fluorine-18 labeled 2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET), MRI of the brain and biochemical observations in a patient with 4-hydroxybutyric aciduria; a progressive neurometabolic disease

Brain Dev. 2000 Mar;22(2):127-31. doi: 10.1016/s0387-7604(99)00121-7.


We report a five-year-old boy with 4-hydroxybutyric aciduria. The child presented with global developmental delay, severe hypotonia and myoclonic seizures. The urine 4-hydroxybutyric acid was 1038 times that of normal, and other organic acids related to its further metabolism were also increased. Electroencephalography showed findings indicative of cerebral dysfunction. However, other neurophysiological studies were normal. Clinical improvement was observed after the administration of vigabatrin and dextromethorphan. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed cerebellar vermin atrophy and subtle white matter changes in the cerebral hemispheres. Fluorine-18 labeled 2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomographic (FDG PET) scan of the brain showed a marked decrease in the cerebellar metabolism, probably related to atrophy of cerebellar vermis and secondary cerebellar deafferentation. FDG PET scan is found to be of value in the understanding and assessment of brain functional alterations. It may be useful in monitoring and optimizing treatment strategies of this rare disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dextromethorphan / therapeutic use
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybutyrates / urine*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / diagnostic imaging*
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / drug therapy
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / pathology*
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Vigabatrin / therapeutic use


  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • 4-hydroxybutyric acid
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Vigabatrin