2015 Volume 237 Issue 4 Pages 323-327
Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) deficiency, well known as classical homocystinuria, is a rare autosomal recessive inborn error of homocysteine and sulfur metabolism. CBS converts homocysteine to cystathionine. The clinical features of untreated CBS deficiency include myopia, ectopia lentis, mental retardation, skeletal anomalies resembling Marfan syndrome, and thromboembolic events. Cerebral white matter lesions (CWMLs), identified in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are related to various clinical conditions including ischemia, inflammation, demyelination, infection, a tumor, and metabolic disorders such as phenylketonuria. The presence of CWMLs is, however, believed to be a very rare condition in CBS-deficient patients. Herein, we report reversible CWMLs associated with hypermethioninemia caused by poor protein restriction and betaine therapy in a 21-year-old male with pyridoxine-nonresponsive CBS deficiency. T2-weighted images (T2WI) and fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) images showed diffuse high signal intensity in subcortical areas extending to the deep white matter. Diffusion-weighted images (DWI) showed high signal intensity, while apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) map demonstrated decreased ADC value in the lesions. The course of improvement after correct methionine restriction was successively followed by brain MRI. The CWMLs had regressed at 1 month after restriction, and disappeared after 5 months. ADC values were very low before proper methionine restriction, but normalized after 2 months. Use of betaine in the presence of elevated plasma methionine may increase the risk of reversible CWMLs in some CBS-deficient patients.