A cluster of disseminated small cortical lesions in MELAS: its distinctive clinical and neuroimaging features.


Department of Neurology, Kitasato University School of Medicine, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, 252-0374, Japan. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To investigate a diversity of stroke-like episodes (SLEs) in mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS), and report a disseminated form of SLEs (D-SLEs) attributed to a cluster of disseminated small cortical lesions.
METHODS : We retrospectively reviewed the clinical information of 27 MELAS patients seen at Kitasato University Hospital between January 1990 and April 2018. Among those, we selected 13 patients with m.3243A>G mutation [median age at onset, 35 years (11-68 years), two pediatric onset < 17 years] who had at least one SLE. SLEs were classified into classic or non-classic based on characteristic features of stroke-like lesions.
RESULTS : 44 SLEs were identified during a median observational period of 119 months (3-240 months). Among those, 29 (65.9%) were classic SLEs (C-SLEs) mainly attributed to a single continuous lobular lesion incongruent to vascular territory and occasionally accompanied by a gradual spread associated with hyperperfusion and persistent seizure activity. The remaining 15 were non-classic attributed to sparsely distributed (n = 10), disseminated (n = 4) or cerebellar lesions (n = 1). C-SLEs developed in all patients but non-classic SLEs in 5; D-SLEs developed in 4 patients accounting for 4 of 44 SLEs (9.1%). Non-classic SLEs developed more frequently in pediatric-onset than in adult-onset patients (12/15 vs. 3/29, p < 0.0001). SLEs began with acute onset of symptoms in 42 SLEs (95.5%), but D-SLEs of 2 adult-onset patients began with ill-defined subacute-onset fluctuating encephalopathy.
CONCLUSIONS : This study showed a diversity of SLEs in patients with m.3243A>G mutation. Further studies are required to elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms of non-classic SLEs including D-SLEs.


Brain MRI,Cerebral blood flow,Diversity,MELAS,Stroke-like episodes,

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