Treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis: clinical, neurophysiological, and quantitative brain structural outcomes.

J Inherit Metab Dis. 2018 Mar 20;:

Authors: Del Mar Amador M, Masingue M, Debs R, Lamari F, Perlbarg V, Roze E, Degos B, Mochel F

BACKGROUND: Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) is a rare neurodegenerative disease related to sterols metabolism. It affects both central and peripheral nervous systems but treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) has been reported to stabilize clinical scores and improve nerve conduction parameters. Few quantitative brain structural studies have been conducted to assess the effect of CDCA in CTX.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We collected retrospectively clinical, neurophysiological, and quantitative brain structural data in a cohort of 14 patients with CTX treated by CDCA over a mean period of 5 years. Plasma cholestanol levels normalized under treatment with CDCA within a few months. We observed a significant clinical improvement in patients up to 25 years old, whose treatment was initiated less than 15 years after the onset of neurological symptoms. Conversely, patients whose treatment was initiated more than 25 years after neurological disease onset continued their clinical deterioration. Eleven patients presented with a length-dependent peripheral neuropathy, whose electrophysiological parameters improved significantly under CDCA. Volumetric analyses in a subset of patients showed no overt volume loss under CDCA. Moreover, diffusion weighted imaging showed improved fiber integrity of the ponto-cerebellar and the internal capsule with CDCA. CDCA was well tolerated in all patients with CTX.
CONCLUSION: CDCA may reverse the pathophysiological process in patients with CTX, especially if treatment is initiated early in the disease process. Besides tendon xanthoma, this study stresses the need to consider plasma cholestanol measurement in any patient with infantile chronic diarrhea and/or jaundice, juvenile cataract, learning disability and/or autism spectrum disorder, pyramidal signs, cerebellar syndrome or peripheral neuropathy.

PMID: 29560583 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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