Ann Rehabil Med.  2019 Apr;43(2):234-238. 10.5535/arm.2019.43.2.234.

Correlation Between Vanishing White Matter Disease and Novel Heterozygous EIF2B3 Variants Using Next-Generation Sequencing: A Case Report

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 3Green Cross Genome, Yongin, Korea.
  • 4Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Incheon St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Incheon, Korea.
  • 5Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea.


Vanishing white matter (VWM) disease is an autosomal recessive disorder that affects the central nervous system of a patient, and is caused by the development of pathogenic mutations in any of the EIF2B1-5 genes. Any dysfunction of the EIF2B1-5 gene encoded eIF2B causes stress-provoked episodic rapid neurological deterioration in the patient, followed by a chronic progressive disease course. We present the case of a patient with an infantile-onset VWM with the pre-described specific clinical course, subsequent neurological aggravation induced by each viral infection, and the noted consequent progression into a comatose state. Although the initial brain magnetic resonance imaging did not reveal specific pathognomonic signs of VWM to distinguish it from other types of demyelinating leukodystrophy, the next-generation sequencing studies identified heterozygous missense variants in EIF2B3, including a novel variant in exon 7 (C706G), as well as a 0.008% frequency reported variant in exon 2 (T89C). Hence, the characteristic of unbiased genomic sequencing can clinically affect patient care and decisionmaking, especially in terms of the consideration of genetic disorders such as leukoencephalopathy in pediatric patients.


Vanishing white matter; Leukoencephalopathies; Genes; Exome
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