Unusual white matter involvement in EAST syndrome associated with novel KCNJ10 mutations

Mariasavina Severino, Susanna Lualdi, Chiara Fiorillo, Pasquale Striano, Teresa De Toni, Silvio Peluso, Giuseppe De Michele, Andrea Rossi, Mirella Filocamo, Claudio Bruno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Epilepsy, ataxia, sensorineural deafness, and tubulopathy (EAST syndrome) is a rare channelopathy due to KCNJ10 mutations. So far, only mild cerebellar hypoplasia and/or dentate nuclei abnormalities have been reported as major neuroimaging findings in these patients. Methods: We analyzed the clinical and brain MRI features of two unrelated patients (aged 27 and 23 years) with EAST syndrome carrying novel homozygous frameshift mutations (p.Asn232Glnfs*14and p.Gly275Valfs*7) in KCNJ10, detected by whole exome sequencing. Results: Brain MRI examinations at 8 years in Patient 1 and at 13 years in Patient 2 revealed a peculiar brain and spinal cord involvement characterized by restricted diffusion of globi pallidi, thalami, brainstem, dentate nuclei, and cervical spinal cord in keeping with intramyelinic edema. The follow-up studies, performed, respectively, after 19 and 10 years, showed mild cerebellar atrophy and slight progression of the brain and spinal cord T2 signal abnormalities with increase of the restricted diffusion in the affected regions. Conclusion: The present cases harboring novel homozygous frameshift mutations in KCNJ10 expand the spectrum of brain abnormalities in EAST syndrome, including mild cerebellar atrophy and intramyelinic edema, resulting from abnormal function of the Kir4.1 inwardly rectifying potassium channel at the astrocyte endfeet, with disruption of water-ion homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419-1425
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Astrocytopathy
  • Brain MRI
  • Channelopathy
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • EAST syndrome
  • Frameshift variants
  • Intramyelinic edema
  • KCNJ10
  • Kir4.1
  • SeSAME syndrome
  • Whole exome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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