ABSTRACT: Whether arteries are affected in mitochondrial disorders (MIDs) was under debate for years but meanwhile there are strong indications that large and small arteries are primarily or secondarily affected in MIDs.
When reviewing the literature for appropriate studies it turned out that vascular involvement in MIDs includes primary or secondary micro- or macroangiopathy of the cerebral, cervical, and retinal arteries, the aorta, the iliac arteries, the brachial arteries, or the muscular arteries. Arteriopathy in MIDs manifests as atherosclerosis, stenosis, occlusion, dissection, ectasia, aneurysm formation, or arteriovenous malformation. Direct evidence for primary cerebral microangiopathy comes from histological studies and indirect evidence from imaging and perfusion studies of the brain. Microangiopathy of the retina is highly prevalent in Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy. Macroangiopathy of the carotid arteries may be complicated by stroke. Arteriopathy of the aorta may result in ectasia, aneurysm formation, or even rupture. Further evidence for arteriopathy in MIDs comes from the frequent association of migraine with MIDs and the occurrence of premature atherosclerosis in MID patients without classical risk factors.
Mitochondrial arteriopathy most frequently concerns the cerebral arteries and may result from the underlying metabolic defect or secondary from associated vascular risk factors. Vascular involvement in MIDs has a strong impact on the prognosis and outcome of these patients.
Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD 05/2012; 22(5):393-9. · 3.52 Impact Factor