[MNGIE syndrome in 2 siblings]

Rev Neurol (Paris). 1997 Oct;153(10):547-53.
[Article in French]


Two siblings (one man, one woman), presenting with diarrhea, severe weight loss peripheral neuropathy, ophthalmoparesis, asymptomatic leukoencephalopathy were diagnosed as a new cases of Mitochondrial Neuro Gastro Intestinal Encephalomyopathy syndrome (MNGIE). Hirano (1994) defined four criteria for the diagnostic: peripheral neuropathy, ophthalmoparesis, gastro intestinal dysmotility, muscle biopsy with histologic features of mitochondrial myopathy (ragged-red fibers, muscle fibers with increased succinate deshydrogenase stain or ultra structurally abnormal mitochondria). In a review of the literature, we found 31 cases with MNGIE. With our two cases, we study this group of 33 patients. First symptoms begin about 13.5 years with a median of 10 years and extremes for 1 to 32 years. The first signs are gastro intestinal symptoms (recurrent nausea, vomiting or diarrhea with intestinal dysmotility) in 22 cases, an ophthalmoparesia in 4 cases, intestinal and ocular signs in 1 case, gait ataxia or peripheral neuropathy in 3 cases, hearing loss in 1 case, gait ataxia or peripheral neuropathy in 3 cases, hearing loss in 1 case. During the evolution, besides the cardinal signs, the following features have been observed with a variable frequency: hearing loss, short stature, facial palsy, dysphonia, dysarthria, sweating, orthostatic hypotension, bladder dysfunction, hepatomegalia, The laboratory features are: abnormal Nerve Condition Studies/EMG compatible with a sensory motor neuropathy, lactic acidosis, mitochondrial respiratory chain defect (essentially complex IV deficiency, complex I deficiency or multiple complex defect), MRI leukodystrophy, elevated CSF protein, heart block, ragged-red fibers or increased SDH stain. The prognosis is poor, due to a severe weight loss bordering on cachexia 13 patients died with a mean age of 28.5 years (median 24 years, extreme 3 years to 51 years). The prognosis seems to be worsened by a young age of onset. The 33 patients belong to 19 families with 7 cases of consanguinity. 25 patients had a brother, a sister or a cousin affected. The study of these families is compatible with an autosomic recessive transmission, suggesting a pathology of the nuclear genomi, probably impliying the control of the mitochondrial DNA replication. In fact, in 13 cases, a study of the mt DNA was realized: multiple deletions were founded in 6 cases, multiples mutations in one case, unique mutation in 1 case. In 5 cases ther was no evidence of abnormality. These precise etiology and pathophysiologic significance of the mt DNA deletions, and the heterogeneity of the modifications of the mt DNA remain unknown. However, the possibility of various phenotypes for a same genotype or inversely is known in mitochondriopathies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathies / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Syndrome