METHODS: Twenty-eight patients harbouring 23 heterozygous pathogenic variants (ten novel) in tubulin genes TUBA1A (n = 10), TUBB2B (n = 8) or TUBB3 (n = 5) were studied by a brain MRI scan performed either on a 1.5 T (n = 10) or 3 T (n = 18) MR scanner with focus on the posterior fossa.
RESULTS: Cerebellar anomalies were detected in 24/28 patients (86%). CD was recognised in 19/28 (68%) including cortical cerebellar dysplasia (CCD) in 18/28, either involving only the cerebellar hemispheres (12/28) or associated with vermis dysplasia (6/28). CCD was located only in the right hemisphere in 13/18 (72%), including four TUBB2B-, four TUBB3- and five TUBA1A-mutated patients, while in the other five TUBA1A cases it was located only in the left hemisphere or in both hemispheres. The postero-superior region of the cerebellar hemispheres was most frequently affected.
CONCLUSIONS: The cerebellar involvement in tubulinopathies shows specific features that may be labelled as 'tubulin-related CD'. This pattern is unique and differs from other genetic causes of cerebellar dysplasia.
KEY POINTS: • Cortical cerebellar dysplasia without cysts is suggestive of tubulin-related disorder. • Cerebellar dysplasia in tubulinopathies shows specific features labelled as 'tubulin-related CD'. • Focal and unilateral involvement of cerebellar hemispheres has important implications for counselling.