Neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1986 Jan;49(1):77-86. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.49.1.77.


Nine cases of neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy are described. All patients had abnormal facial features, moderate to severe hypotonia, hepatomegaly, and retinitis pigmentosa. The clinical course was rapidly progressive in six cases and more protracted in three others. Biological signs of adrenal insufficiency were present in five cases. CT scan showed a demyelinating process in four patients. Trilamellar inclusions were found in the liver of four cases and dark and complex lipidic inclusions in three other cases. In the three necropsied patients there was severe alteration of the white matter involving particularly the cerebellum in two cases. Gyral and cytoarchitectonic disturbances were absent in all three cases. Increased plasma levels of very long chain fatty acids (8/8), phytanic acid (7/8) and bile fluid trihydroxycoprostanic acid (2/4) confirmed the deficiency of multiple peroxisomal enzymes. Clinical, histopathological and biochemical findings of these nine cases are compared to those reported in other neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy cases and to those of other neonatal peroxisomal disorders, that is cerebro-hepato-renal syndrome of Zellweger and infantile Refsum's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex / pathology*
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / congenital
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / diagnosis
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / pathology*
  • Biopsy
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffuse Cerebral Sclerosis of Schilder / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Microbodies / enzymology
  • Refsum Disease / diagnosis
  • Spinal Nerves / pathology*