Purpose: We evaluated the availability of archival histopathological preparations for genetic diagnosis of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON).
Methods: Preparations of various tissues of an autopsied case of LHON, and of the optochiasmal arachnoidea of nine cases of bilateral optic neuropathy (BON) were studied to determine the presence of a point mutation of the mitochondrial DNA nucleotide (nt) 11778 using PCR method.
Results: An nt11778 point mutation was detected in all preparations of the autopsied case. Five preparations out of six BON cases who were diagnosed as LHON based on positive family history, revealed this point mutation. This mutation was also detected in two of three BON patients with no family history of the disease.
Conclusion: The archival preparations were found to be available as materials of genetic diagnosis for LHON, which indicated that it would be capable to reevaluate retrospectively the pedigree of LHON and BON cases.