Wilson's disease: A clinico-neuropathological autopsy study

S. Meenakshi-Sundaram, A. Mahadevan, A. B. Taly, G. R. Arunodaya, H. S. Swamy, S. K. Shankar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Wilson's disease (WD), a familial neurological disorder involving the brain and liver secondary to altered copper metabolism, is common in South India. In view of the paucity of studies on this condition, the pathomorphological features of eight cases of WD were studied in detail at autopsy (brain alone, 1; brain and liver biopsy, 1; brain and visceral organs, 6), and are described with a discussion of the differential features of the neurological and hepatic forms. Of the six patients presenting with neurological manifestations, five had central pontine myelinolysis, five had subcortical white matter cavitations, four had putaminal softening, and six had variable ventricular dilatation, unlike the hepatic form. The presence of Opalski cells and pontine myelinolysis appear to be specific to the neurological form of WD. Liver abnormalities were observed in all cases (cirrhosis, 6; steatosis, 4; chronic active hepatitis, 2). Contrary to the rubric 'hepatolenticular degeneration', involvement of the lenticular nucleus was not universal, and nor was the pathology restricted to these anatomical areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-417
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Central pontine myelinolysis
  • Demyelination
  • Hepatolenticular degeneration
  • Neuropathology
  • Wilson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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