ECHS1 gene mutations are known to cause mitochondrial short-chain enoyl-CoA hydratase 1 deficiency, a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by psychomotor development delay, lactic acidosis, and basal ganglia lesions resembling Leigh syndrome. Short-chain enoyl-CoA hydratase 1 (ECHS1) deficiency is a very rare and new disorder, with a wide phenotypic spectrum and different outcomes ranging from neonatal death to survival into adulthood. Since the identification of ECHS1 deficiency in 2014, almost 63 patients with pathogenic mutations in the ECHS1 gene have been described to date.
This paper focuses on the clinical and molecular findings as well as the evolution of a Caucasian girl diagnosed with ECHS1 deficiency who carries a new compound heterozygous mutation in the ECHS1 gene. Polymorphic symptoms, namely failure to thrive, significant global developmental delay/regression, movement disorders, ocular abnormalities, hearing loss, seizure, and cardiac myopathy, may be a challenge in mitochondrial disorder suspicion. Early diagnosis, an appropriate diet with valine restriction, and trigger avoidance are essential, as there is no effective therapy for the disease. This disorder influences life quality in these patients and their caregivers, and it has the potential to be fatal.