External ophthalmoplegia with severe progressive multiorgan involvement associated with the mtDNA A3243G mutation

Sun Hansrote, Sidney Croul, Mary Selak, Bernadette Kalman, Robert J. Schwartzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) may be related to primary nuclear DNA or mitochondrial (mt)DNA mutations. The A3243G mtDNA point mutation most frequently causes mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) syndrome, but also has been associated with other phenotypes including CPEO, migraine, seizure, diabetes, and sensorineural hearing loss. Case description: We report a 38-year-old white man with seizures and progressive difficulties of infantile origin including CPEO, sensorineural hearing loss, cataracts, migraines, multiple endocrinopathy, myopathy, and cardiomyopathy. Moderate hearing loss in association with CPEO, diabetes mellitus, or migraines were noted in the proband's maternal grandmother, great aunt, mother, and three sisters, suggesting either an autosomal dominant or maternal inheritance. Detailed histological and biochemical analysis of the proband's biopsied muscle specimen revealed severe abnormalities compatible with a mitochondrial disease. MtDNA analysis excluded large-scale deletions, but revealed a heteroplasmic A to G transition at nt3243 in 56.4% and 27.4% of molecules in muscle and white blood cells, respectively. Conclusion: We discuss possible causes of this intrafamilial heterogeneity of phenotypes associated with the A3243G mtDNA mutation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2002


  • CPEO
  • Mitochondrial disease
  • Phenotypic heterogeneity
  • Point mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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