Therapeutic potential of dichloroacetate for pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency

Mitochondrion. 2006 Jun;6(3):126-35. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2006.04.001. Epub 2006 May 3.


We reviewed the use of oral dichloroacetate (DCA) in the treatment of children with congenital lactic acidosis caused by mutations in the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). The case histories of 46 subjects were analyzed with regard to diagnosis, clinical presentation and response to DCA. DCA decreased blood and cerebrospinal fluid lactate concentrations, and was generally well tolerated. DCA may be particularly effective in children with PDC deficiency by stimulating residual enzyme activity and, consequently, cellular energy metabolism. A controlled trial is needed to determine the definitive role of DCA in the management of this devastating disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis, Lactic / congenital
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dichloroacetic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation*
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex / metabolism*
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex Deficiency Disease / drug therapy*


  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex
  • Dichloroacetic Acid