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Gallbladder cancer with ascites in a child with metachromatic leukodystrophy.

Brain & Development 2021 January
INTRODUCTION: Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) refers to leukodystrophy caused by the accumulation of sulfatide from arylsulfatase A (ARSA) gene mutations. Sulfatide also accumulates in various organs, including the peripheral nerves, kidney, and gallbladder. Proliferative changes in the gallbladder have been reported in several patients, while gallbladder cancer is reported in only two adult MLD cases. We report what is likely the first pediatric case of MLD with gallbladder cancer.

CASE REPORT: The patient was a 5-year-old girl diagnosed with MLD using head magnetic resonance imaging and detecting a homozygous mutation of c.302G>A (p.Gly101Asp) in ARSA. Abdominal bloating was observed at the age of 4 years; CT revealed a giant tumor in the gallbladder and massive ascites. Cholecystectomy was performed and pathological examination revealed adenocarcinoma. Measurement of serum sulfatide revealed increased levels compared to the average healthy range.

DISCUSSION: Rapidly increased ascites and large polyps which are reported as risk factors for cancer were characteristic in our MLD case. When such lesions are detected, they should be removed immediately because of the possibility of cancer, even in a pediatric patient.

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