Open Access Open Badges Case report

Long-term tracking of neurological complications of encephalopathy and myopathy in a patient with nephropathic cystinosis: a case report and review of the literature

Marcus Müller*, Andrea Baumeier, EB Ringelstein and IW Husstedt

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Albert-Schweitzer-Strasse, D-48129 Münster, Germany

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of Medical Case Reports 2008, 2:235  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-2-235

Published: 18 July 2008



Cystinosis is a hereditary storage disease resulting in intracellular accumulation of cystine and crystal formation that causes deterioration of the function of many organs. The major clinical symptom is renal failure, which progresses and necessitates renal transplantation at the beginning of the second decade of life. Encephalopathy and distal myopathy are important neurological long-term complications with a major impact on the quality of life of these patients. Application of cysteamine is the only specific therapy available; it decreases the intracellular cystine level and delays or may even prevent the failure of organ functions.

Case presentation

We present the case of a 38-year-old woman with cystinosis and the long-term tracking of her neurological symptoms under cysteamine treatment.


This case report describes a long observation period of neurological complications in a person with cystinosis who had strikingly different courses of encephalopathy and myopathy while on cysteamine treatment. Although encephalopathy was initially suspected, this did not develop, but distal myopathy progressed continuously despite specific therapy.