Mitochondrial disorders are human genetic diseases with extremely variable clinical and genetic features. To better define them, we made a genotype-phenotype correlation in a series of 207 affected patients, and we examined most of them with six laboratory examinations (serum CK and basal lactate levels, EMG, cardiac and EEG studies, neuroradiology). We found that, depending on the genetic abnormality, hyperckemia occurs most often with either chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) and ptosis or with limb weakness. Myopathic EMGs are more common than limb weakness, except in patients with A8344G mutations. Peripheral neuropathy, when present, is always axonal. About 80% of patients with A3243G and A8344G mutations have high basal lactate levels, whereas pure CPEO is never associated with increased lactate levels. Cardiac abnormalities mostly consist of conduction defects. Abnormalities on CT or MRI of the brain are relatively common in A3243G mutations independently of the clinical phenotype. Patients with multiple mtDNA deletions are somehow "protected" against the development of abnormalities with any of the tests. We conclude that, despite the phenotypic heterogeneity of mitochondrial disorders, correlation of clinical features and laboratory findings may give the clinician important clues to the genetic defect, allowing earlier diagnosis and counselling.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Neurology|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology