Leukodystrophy in patients with ovarian dysgenesis

Ann Neurol. 1997 May;41(5):654-61. doi: 10.1002/ana.410410515.


We describe clinical, biochemical, pathological, and spectroscopic findings in 4 women, aged 15 to 29 years, from three unrelated families who had a unique combination of a central nervous system white matter disease and primary ovarian failure. All had normal initial development but 3 had borderline low IQ and academic difficulties in primary school. Puberty did not develop in 2 patients and was arrested in a third patient. The fourth patient had premature ovarian failure at the age of 13 years. Head magnetic resonance imaging showed diffuse white matter disease, with frontal cortical atrophy in the most clinically advanced patient. All patients had normal karyotype and normal findings on extensive evaluations for known leukodystrophies, for other metabolic diseases, and for causes of ovarian failure. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging showed reduction of choline-containing compounds in the affected white matter in all patients and reduction of N-acetylaspartate in the unaffected frontal white matter of 2 patients. All patients had evidence of primary gonadal insufficiency with a normal hypothalamic-hypophyseal axis. Pathological analysis showed streak ovaries in 1 patient and signs of hypomyelination, and gliosis on brain biopsy in another patient. In conclusion, we present a novel group of patients who have in common leukodystrophy, primary ovarian dysfunction, and magnetic resonance spectroscopic abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / pathology
  • Child
  • Diffuse Cerebral Sclerosis of Schilder / diagnosis
  • Diffuse Cerebral Sclerosis of Schilder / etiology*
  • Diffuse Cerebral Sclerosis of Schilder / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Gonadal Dysgenesis / complications*
  • Gonadal Dysgenesis / pathology
  • Gonadal Dysgenesis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Ovary / abnormalities*
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Pituitary Function Tests