Macular dystrophy associated with the A3243G mitochondrial DNA mutation. Distinct retinal and associated features, disease variability, and characterization of asymptomatic family members.
ABSTRACT To determine (1) detailed retinal and audiological features of probands harboring the A3243G mitochondrial DNA mutation (m.3243A>G) and their asymptomatic maternal relatives, (2) intrafamilial and interfamilial phenotypic variability, and (3) the presence of other systemic features.
Seven probands harboring the A3243G mitochondrial DNA mutation and 36 asymptomatic maternal relatives were ascertained. Participants underwent ophthalmologic examination, fundus photography, autofluorescence imaging, and audiological evaluation and completed a questionnaire. Blood samples were taken to test for diabetes, determine renal function, and screen relatives for the A3243G mutation.
The A3243G mutation was associated with both intrafamilial and interfamilial variable expressivity regarding retinal appearance, hearing loss, diabetes, and other systemic features. The most common macular appearance in maternal relatives (one-third of those positive for the mutation) was mild abnormalities of the retinal pigment epithelium (more clearly identified using autofluorescence), which may therefore be a useful clinical indicator suggesting positive mutation status. Four probands and 13 mutation-positive relatives were found to have evidence of significant bilateral, cochlear, symmetrical age-adjusted hearing loss, predominantly affecting high frequencies.
Hearing loss and macular disturbance were the most frequent findings in mutation-positive participants, with 95% of mutation-positive relatives having hearing loss. Diabetes was the least frequent finding. Patients with progressive hearing loss may merit ophthalmologic assessment to detect retinal abnormalities consistent with the A3243G mutation. Conversely, patients with macular features in keeping with the A3243G mutation should have audiological testing, even in the absence of diabetes or a positive family history.
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ABSTRACT: The prevalence of isolated hearing loss (HL) associated with the m.3243A>G mutation is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and heteroplasmy level of the m.3243A>G mutation in a large group of Polish patients with postlingual bilateral sensorineural HL of unidentified cause. A molecular search was undertaken in the archival blood DNA of 1482 unrelated patients with isolated HL that had begun at ages between 5 and 40 years. Maternal relatives of the probands were subsequently investigated and all carriers underwent audiological tests. The m.3243A>G mutation was found in 16 of 1482 probands (an incidence of 1.08%) and 18 family members. Of these 34 individuals, hearing impairment was detected in 29 patients and the mean onset of HL was at 26 years. Some 42% of the identified m.3243A>G carriers did not develop multisystem symptomatology over the following 10 years. Mean heteroplasmy level of m.3243A>G was lowest in blood at a level of 14% and highest in urine at 58%. These values were independent of the manifested clinical severity of the disease. A single m.3243A>G carrier can usually be found among each 100 individuals who have postlingual hearing loss of unknown cause. Urine samples are best for detecting the m.3243A>G mutation and diagnosing mitochondrially inherited hearing loss.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e44054. · 4.09 Impact Factor