The clinical spectrum of mitochondrial disease in 75 pediatric patients

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2003 Oct;42(8):703-10. doi: 10.1177/000992280304200806.


The clinical presentation of mitochondrial disorders in childhood is highly variable causing difficulties in diagnosis and management. We assessed records of 75 children (48 male, 27 female) with a biochemically and/or molecularly established mitochondrial disorder in a retrospective, multicentric study. The predominant biochemical defect was an isolated respiratory chain complex IV, followed by respiratory chain complex I, combined respiratory chain, and isolated pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) deficiencies. For the 75 patients, the predominant clinical presentations were a nonspecific encephalomyopathy (n = 34) and Leigh syndrome (n = 17). Classical mitochondrial syndromes with associated mutations of the mitochondrial DNA were rare (n = 12). Eleven children had a lethal infantile mitochondrial disease (LIMD). This group comprised a considerable variety of clinical pictures, and the cohort was big enough to show the high frequency and wide spectrum of nonneuromuscular symptoms in mitochondrial disorders in childhood.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies