Probable Vanishing White Matter Disease: A Case Report and Literature Review

Ethiop J Health Sci. 2021 Nov;31(6):1307-1310. doi: 10.4314/ejhs.v31i6.28.


Background: Vanishing white matter disease is one of the most prevalent inherited childhood leukoencephalopathies. The disease is characterized by chronic, progressive and episodic deterioration with ataxia and spasticity.

Case presentation: Here, we report a 15-month-old female child from Dire-Dawa, eastern part of Ethiopia, who presented with regression of developmental milestones and truncal ataxia since her age of 11 months following a febrile illness that occurred one month earlier. Magnetic resonance imaging of brain is suggestive of vanishing white matter disease.

Conclusions: We believe this case report will increase curiosity, awareness and knowledge of health professionals in Ethiopia and sub-Saharan Africa working with children in early consideration and the diagnosis of the disease.

Keywords: Child; Ethiopia; Vanishing White Matter Disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukoencephalopathies* / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods