Globoid cell leukodystrophy: comparison of neuropathology with magnetic resonance imaging

Acta Neuropathol. 1994;88(1):26-32. doi: 10.1007/BF00294356.


Previous imaging studies in infants with globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) using computed tomography have demonstrated a reduction in cerebral white matter and increased density symmetrically in the regions of the thalami, periventricular white matter, and the internal capsules. Correlation of these findings with morphologic studies at necropsy has not been made. In particular, deposition of calcium has not been described. We have evaluated two children with GLD confirmed by the absence of leukocyte galactosylceramide beta-galactosidase activity using repeated magnetic resonance (MR) scans in each and correlated the imaging results with post-mortem analyses in one. Neuropathologic examination revealed abnormalities typical for GLD. In addition to the absence of normal myelination throughout cerebral and cerebellar white matter, MR images demonstrated the presence of a paramagnetic effect in the regions of the thalami, corona radiata, and centra semiovale. We have observed in histologic preparations from these areas a dense accumulation of globoid cells and some calcium, which we suggest may be responsible for producing the paramagnetic effect.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukodystrophy, Globoid Cell / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male