MRI findings in patients with clinical onset consistent with Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD), literature review, clinical and MRI follow-up

Bruno Bernardi, A. Pini, M. Santucci, C. Cenacchi, B. Garavaglia, V. Ucchino, C. Garrone, A. Guerra, R. Faggioli, C. Barzaghi, P. Preda, E. Franzoni, G. Gobbi, A. Parmeggiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy (INAD) is a rare autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by infantile onset and rapid progression of psychomotor regression and hypotonia evolving into spasticity. The neuroradiologic hallmark of the disease is represented by progressive cerebellar atrophy. Prior to the discovery of mutations in the PLA2G6 gene in family with INAD, the clinical diagnosis of the disease had been confirmed by the presence of spheroid bodies (SB) in a peripheral nerve biopsy. Various studies have found that some patients with mutations lacked SB and some without mutations had SB, indicating incomplete detection using either pathologic or molecular methods7. This, together with the observation that the spectrum of clinical features associated with mutations in PLA2G6 is broader than previously described, has increased the usefulness of Magnetic Resonance (MR) in INAD diagnosis, particularly in the frequent occurrence of atypical cases, especially in the early stages of the disease. We retrospectively reviewed the MR studies of eight patients in whom clinical and imaging onset met the typical criteria for INAD. Their clinical and MR imaging (MRI) onset and follow-up were evaluated together with the neuroradiological findings reported in the literature in order to identify MRI features useful in differentiating INAD from other diseases with similar clinical onset and to discuss which of them are the most important, thus suggesting INAD diagnosis. Our contribution included the use of Proton Spectroscopy (1H-MR), diffusion weighted MR imaging (DWI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in the follow-up of seven of the eight patients. The literature reviewed included attempts to correlate clinical and MR data with the genotype in the group of patients carrying PLA2G6 mutations. From the limited and inhomogeneous cohort of patients included in our study, a correlation between the MR features, phenotype and genotype was not exhaustive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-214
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroradiology Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Cerebellar atrophy
  • Cerebellar cortex hyperintensity
  • INAD
  • Infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy
  • PLA2G6 gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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