An autopsy case report of adult-onset Krabbe disease: Comparison with an infantile-onset case

Pathol Int. 2022 Nov;72(11):558-565. doi: 10.1111/pin.13275. Epub 2022 Oct 6.


Krabbe disease is a lysosomal storage disease caused by a deficiency of the galactocerebrosidase (GALC) enzyme, which leads to demyelination of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Almost all patients with Krabbe disease are infants, and this is the first report of adult-onset cases that describe pathological findings. Here, we present two autopsy cases: a 73-year-old female and a 2-year-old male. The adult-onset case developed symptoms in her late thirties and was diagnosed by the identification of GALC D528N and L634S mutations and by T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging; she had increased signal in the white matter along the pyramidal tract to the bilateral precentral gyrus, as well as from the triangular part to the posterior horn of the lateral ventricle. Microscopically, Klüver-Barrera staining was pale in the white matter of the precentral gyrus and occipito-thalamic radiation, and a few globoid cells were observed. The GALC mutations that were identified in the present adult-onset case do not completely inactivate GALC enzyme activity, resulting in focal demyelination of the brain.

Keywords: Krabbe disease; adult-onset; galactocerebrosidase.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autopsy
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Galactosylceramidase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukodystrophy, Globoid Cell* / diagnosis
  • Leukodystrophy, Globoid Cell* / genetics
  • Leukodystrophy, Globoid Cell* / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mutation


  • Galactosylceramidase