CLCN2-related leukoencephalopathy: a case report and review of the literature

BMC Neurol. 2019 Jul 10;19(1):156. doi: 10.1186/s12883-019-1390-7.


Background: Loss-of-function mutations in the CLCN2 gene were recently discovered to be a cause of a type of leukodystrophy named CLCN2-related leukoencephalopathy (CC2L), which is characterized by intramyelinic edema. Herein, we report a novel mutation in CLCN2 in an individual with leukodystrophy.

Case presentation: A 38-year-old woman presented with mild hand tremor, scanning speech, nystagmus, cerebellar ataxia in the upper limbs, memory decline, tinnitus, and dizziness. An ophthalmologic examination indicated macular atrophy, pigment epithelium atrophy and choroidal capillary atrophy. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed the diffuse white matter involvement of specific white matter tracts. Decreased diffusion anisotropy was detected in various brain regions of the patient. Diffusion tensor tractography (DTT) showed obviously thinner tracts of interest than in the controls, with a decreased fiber number (FN), increased radial diffusivity (RD) and unchanged axial diffusivity (AD). A novel homozygous c.2257C > T (p.Arg753Ter) mutation in exon 20 of the CLCN2 gene was identified.

Conclusion: CC2L is a rare condition characterized by diffuse edema involving specific fiber tracts that pass through the brainstem. The distinct MRI patterns could be a strong indication for CLCN2 gene analysis. The findings of our study may facilitate the understanding of the pathophysiology and clinical symptoms of this disease.

Keywords: ClC-2 chloride channels; Diffusion tensor imaging; Leukoencephalopathies; MRI.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atrophy
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Stem
  • CLC-2 Chloride Channels
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / genetics
  • Chloride Channels / genetics*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Female
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Leukoencephalopathies / diagnostic imaging
  • Leukoencephalopathies / genetics*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mutation
  • Vision Disorders / genetics*
  • White Matter / diagnostic imaging*


  • CLC-2 Chloride Channels
  • Chloride Channels