Although individual cases of inherited metabolic disorders are rare, overall they account for a substantial number of disorders affecting the central nervous system. Organic acidemias and aminoacidopathies include a variety of inborn errors of metabolism that are caused by defects in the intermediary metabolic pathways of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fatty acid oxidation. These defects can lead to the abnormal accumulation of organic acids and amino acids in multiple organs, including the brain. Early diagnosis is mandatory to initiate therapy and prevent permanent long-term neurologic impairments or death. Neuroimaging findings can be nonspe-cific, and metabolism- and genetics-based laboratory investigations are needed to confirm the diagnosis. However, neuroimaging has a key role in guiding the diagnostic workup. The findings at conventional and advanced magnetic resonance imaging may suggest the correct diagnosis, help narrow the differential diagnosis, and consequently facilitate early initiation of targeted metabolism- and genetics-based laboratory investigations and treatment. Neuroimaging may be especially helpful for distinguishing organic acidemias and aminoacidopathies from other more common diseases with similar manifestations, such as hypoxic-ischemic injury and neonatal sepsis. Therefore, it is important that radiologists, neuroradiologists, pediatric neuroradiologists, and clinicians are familiar with the neuroimaging findings of organic acidemias and aminoacidopathies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging