Leigh syndrome (LS) is a mitochondrial encephalopathy that is caused by a mutation either in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or in the nuclear encoded genes of the mitochondrial proteins. Prenatal diagnosis of defects in the mtDNA is usually problematic because of mtDNA heteroplasmy and tissue specificity. However, the mutations T8993 G/C in the ATP synthase subunit 6 gene of the mtDNA show a more even tissue distribution and do not appear to change significantly over time. There are only few reports of prenatal diagnosis of the T8993G mutation in Leigh disease. Here we describe the first prenatal genetic testing of T8993C in a fetus of a mother whose previous child had died of Leigh syndrome due to the T8993C mutation. Mutant load in the chorionic villus sample (CVS) as well as in amniocytes was undetectable, thus predicting a very high likelihood of an unaffected outcome, indicative of a healthy baby. The diagnosis was confirmed after birth. Gathering data on the prenatal diagnosis of mtDNA mutations is of great importance so that prenatal diagnosis of both T8993G and T8993C mutations can be offered routinely.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.