OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to explore the genetic features of a family with 2-methyl-3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MHBDD) which may provide the basis for the diagnosis and genetic counseling. METHOD Clinical data of the proband was collected, total RNA and genomic DNA were extracted from the peripheral blood. The whole coding region of the ACAT1 gene was amplified by RT-PCR. 5' noncoding region of the ACAT1 gene and all 6 exons and flanking intron regions of the HADH2 gene were amplified by PCR. All amplification products were directly sequenced and compared with the reference sequence. RESULT (1) The patient was a one-year-old boy who presented with psychomotor retardation and astasia when he was admitted to the hospital. Biochemical test revealed slight hyperlactatemia (3.19 mmol/L) and magnetic resonance imaging showed delayed myelination. 2-Methylacetoacetyl-CoA thiolase deficiency was suggested by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. (2) There was no mutation in the ACAT1 gene and a hemizygous missense mutation c.388C > T was found in the 4 exon of the HADH2 gene which resulted in p. R130C. Proband's mother was the heterozygote and the father was normal. CONCLUSION This is the first report on MHBDD patient and HADH2 mutation in China. p.R130C is responsible for the pathogenesis of the disease in the infant.