We studied a patient with Leigh's syndrome using neurophysiologic, radiologic, enzymatic, biochemical, and molecular analysis. Her clinical course had started with acute encephalopathic symptoms at 7 months of age. With repeated remission and exacerbation, she developed hypotonia and symptoms of brainstem dysfunction, such as irregular respiration and swallowing difficulty. These symptoms were followed by epileptic seizures, including simple partial seizures and tonic spasms. Both serum lactate and serum pyruvate levels were elevated, and deficient activity was detected in cytochrome c oxidase in her quadriceps femoris muscle. From the early stages, we noted an abnormality in the auditory brainstem response and visual evoked potentials, and an abnormal symmetrical low-density area in the basal ganglia on the computed tomographic scan. We found a mitochondrial DNA point mutation at 8993 in blood samples from both the patient and her mother using a simple polymerase chain reaction method. The ratio of wild and mutant mitochondrial DNA calculated densitometrically on polymerase chain reaction products was 56.6% in the patient's blood cells and 8.4% in her mother's. This patient's disorder was thought to be maternally inherited Leigh's syndrome. Her brother had died of the identical clinical features at 1 year 9 months of age. (J Child Neurol 1993;8:129-133).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology