MELAS and L-arginine therapy

Mitochondrion. Feb-Apr 2007;7(1-2):133-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2006.11.006. Epub 2006 Dec 5.


We investigated the endothelial function in MELAS patients and also evaluated the therapeutic effects of L-arginine. Concentrations of L-arginine during the acute phase of MELAS were significantly lower than in control subjects. L-arginine infusions significantly improved all symptoms suggesting stroke within 30 min, and oral administration significantly decreased frequency and severity of stroke-like episodes. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in patients showed a significant decrease than those in the controls. Two years of oral supplementation of L-arginine significantly improved endothelial function to the control levels and was harmonized with the normalized plasma levels of L-arginine in patients. L-arginine therapy showed promise in treating stroke-like episodes in MELAS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arginine / analogs & derivatives
  • Arginine / blood
  • Arginine / therapeutic use*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / drug effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Citrulline / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Humans
  • MELAS Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • MELAS Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Nitrogen Oxides / blood
  • Stroke / drug therapy
  • Stroke / physiopathology


  • Nitrogen Oxides
  • dimethylarginine
  • Citrulline
  • Arginine