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Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy is multiorgan not mono-organ

Authors Finsterer J, Zarrouk-Mahjoub S

Received 19 August 2016

Accepted for publication 15 September 2016

Published 2 November 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 2187—2190

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S120197

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Josef Finsterer,1 Sinda Zarrouk-Mahjoub2

1Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Vienna, Austria; 2Genomics Platform, Pasteur Institute of Tunis, Tunisia

Abstract: Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a maternally inherited mitochondrial disorder with bilateral loss of central vision primarily due to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in subunits of complex I in the respiratory chain (primary LHON mutations), while other mtDNA mutations can also be causative. Since the first description, it is known that LHON is not restricted to the eyes but is a multisystem disorder additionally involving the central nervous system, ears, endocrinological organs, heart, bone marrow, arteries, kidneys, or the peripheral nervous system. Multisystem involvement may start before or after the onset of visual impairment. Involvement of organs other than the eyes may be subclinical depending on age, ethnicity, and possibly the heteroplasmy rate of the responsible primary LHON mutation. Primary LHON mutations may rarely manifest without ocular compromise but with arterial hypertension, various neurodegenerative diseases, or Leigh syndrome. Patients with LHON need to be closely followed up to detect at which point organs other than the eyes become affected. Multiorgan disease in LHON often responds more favorably to symptomatic treatment than the ocular compromise.

Keywords: mitochondrial DNA, heteroplasmy, respiratory chain, LHON, genotype–phenotype correlation

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