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April 1990

Evoked Potential Studies in Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan.

Arch Neurol. 1990;47(4):465-467. doi:10.1001/archneur.1990.00530040123028

• Evoked potentials were studied in a patient with a mitochondrial encephalomyopathy revealing a defect of nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase and cytochrome C oxidase in the mitochondria of a muscle biopsy specimen. The biopsy specimen showed myopathic changes with ragged-red fibers and markedly decreased cytochrome C oxidase in the muscle fibers. Subcortical somatosensory evoked potentials to median nerve stimulation were normal in the peak latencies of N9, N11, and N13. Cortical somatosensory evoked potentials to median nerve stimulation revealed significantly delayed peak latencies of N20, P20, P25, and N26, although N16 latency was normal. In particular, the interpeak latency between N16 and N20 was significantly delayed. In topographic maps, N20 and P20 were delayed in the peak latencies with normal scalp distributions. Dysfunction of somatosensory cortex indicated by the delay of cortical somatosensory evoked potentials may be related to a cortical mitochondrial abnormality. The absence of responses to auditory stimulation within 10 milliseconds could be related to the dysfunction of peripheral acoustic nerves.

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