Investigation of adult-onset multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency associated with peripheral neuropathy

Neuropathology. 2020 Dec;40(6):531-539. doi: 10.1111/neup.12667. Epub 2020 Jun 30.


Multiple Acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD), one of the most common lipid storage myopathies (LSMs), is a heterogeneous inherited muscular disorder that is pathologically characterized by numerous lipid droplets in muscle fibers due to lipid metabolism disturbance. MADD exhibits a wide range of clinical features, including skeletal muscle weakness and multisystem dysfunctions. However, MADD, as well as other types of LSM, associated with peripheral neuropathy has rarely been reported during the past four decades. Here, we present four Chinese patients affected by MADD with peripheral neuropathy in our neuromuscular center. Clinically, these four patients showed skeletal muscle weakness and prominent paresthesia. Muscle biopsy detected characteristic myopathological patterns of LSM, such as obvious lipid droplets in muscle fibers. Sural nerve biopsy revealed a severe reduction in number of myelinated nerve fibers, which is a typical neuropathological pattern of peripheral neuropathy. Causative ETFDH mutations were found in all four cases. The skeletal muscle weakness was rapidly improved after some treatments while paresthesia showed unsatisfactory improvement. The features of previously reported patients of this specific type are also summarized in this paper. We propose that MADD with peripheral neuropathy may be a new phenotypic subtype because the pathology and reaction to riboflavin treatment are different from those of traditional MADD, although further research on the precise pathogenesis and mechanisms is needed.

Keywords: lipid droplet; lipid storage myopathy; multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency; muscular disorder; peripheral neuropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electron-Transferring Flavoproteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Acyl Coenzyme A Dehydrogenase Deficiency / complications*
  • Multiple Acyl Coenzyme A Dehydrogenase Deficiency / genetics
  • Multiple Acyl Coenzyme A Dehydrogenase Deficiency / pathology
  • Mutation
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors / genetics
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Riboflavin / therapeutic use


  • Electron-Transferring Flavoproteins
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors
  • electron-transferring-flavoprotein dehydrogenase
  • Riboflavin