We report on a unique patient with mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) presenting optic atrophy, cardiomyopathy, and bilateral striatal necrosis before stoke-like episodes became apparent. Skeletal muscle total mitochondrial DNA analysis identified a heteroplasmic A to G point mutation in the tRNA(Lys) gene at position 8296. Skeletal muscle pathology revealed typical MELAS findings, including ragged-red fibers cytochrome c oxidase positive strongly succinate dehydrogenase-reactive blood vessels. Recent reports describe the 8296 mutation identified in patients with diabetes mellitus or myoclonus epilepsy with ragged-red fibers, not MELAS. We conclude that the 8296 mutation is likely to be pathogenic and that it may be not only a mutation responsible for diabetes mellitus or myoclonus epilepsy with ragged-red fibers but also for MELAS.