An autopsy case of atypical friedreich's ataxia with chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction

Tetsuya Nagata, Masashi Aoki, Takafumi Hasegawa, Yusei Shiga, Takeshi Hayashi, Jun Higuchi, Koji Abe, Takashi Tanno, Hidehiko Konno, Yasuto Itoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We report a 58-year-old man with slowly progressive muscle atrophy and weakness in the four extremities, accompanying cerebellar ataxia and sensory impairment of all modalities. He was a product of consanguineous marriage. His neurological manifestations began in childhood. He was admitted to our hospital because of marked abdominal distension and pretibial edema with hypoalbuminemia and hyperlipidemia. Neuroimaging studies showed marked atrophy of the cerebellum and spinal cord. Nerve conduction studies presented with slowing and sural nerve biopsy revealed demyelination with onion-bulbs. Abdominal distension was interpreted to be caused by chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIIP), leading to protein-losing gastroenteropathy and hypalbuminemia caused by the CIIP. He died of DIC by myelodysplasic syndrome and DIC, two years later. Postmortem study demonstrated with severe loss of anterior horn cells and gliosis in the spinal cord. The Clarke's column was also affected. There was symmetrical degeneration in the dorsal column and corticospinal tracts. The cerebellum showed atroply of molecular layer, prominent loss of Purkinje' s cells and sparse granular cell layer, but no obvious change in the dentate nucleus. Neuronal loss in the dorsal root ganglia was remarkable. There were no alternations in the cerebral cortex, striatum, thalamus, subthalamic nucleus, and pontine nucleus, except for mild changes in substantia nigra and inferior olivary nucleus. This case was clinically suspected either of variant of Friedreich's ataxia or an early onset ataxia associated with hypoalbuminemia (EOAHA), although marked autonomic dysfunction was atypical. But the postmortem study, demonstrated with marked neuronal loss in anterior horn cells and cerebellan cortex and rather suggested an independent category of this case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-417
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neurology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction
  • Friedreich's ataxia
  • Hypoalbuminemia
  • Protein losing gastroenteropathy
  • Visceral neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'An autopsy case of atypical friedreich's ataxia with chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this