Computed tomography in maple syrup urine disease

Eur J Radiol. May-Jun 1992;14(3):207-12. doi: 10.1016/0720-048x(92)90089-r.


Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) is an inherited metabolic disorder characterized by a severe, usually lethal, neonatal course in the early stages with pseudotumor cerebri and pathologically documented increased cerebral water content. CT and MRI studies in MSUD are few and the data are overlapping. This study reports CT features before and after dietary treatment in three patients; two with classical MSUD and one with an intermediate variant of MSUD. At diagnosis, CT consistently showed evidence of abnormally high lucidity involving not only white matter, but also areas of grey matter, particularly the pallidum. Furthermore, these CT changes are present both in the acute phase of classical MSUD and in an intermediate variant of the disease. The observed abnormalities evolve favorably under dietary treatment, simultaneously with clinical and neurological improvement. It is concluded that the observed CT changes indicate a diagnosis of MSUD and are relevant findings in the neuroradiologic differential diagnosis in acutely ill newborns, in which a metabolic disease may be not immediately suspected.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maple Syrup Urine Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Maple Syrup Urine Disease / diet therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*