Naess K, Bruhn H, Stranneheim H, Freyer C, Wibom R, Mourier A, Engvall M, Nennesmo I, Lesko N, Wredenberg A, Wedell A, von Döbeln U
J Pediatr 228 (-) 240-251.e2 [2021-01-00; online 2020-08-19]
To evaluate the clinical symptoms and biochemical findings and establish the genetic etiology in a cohort of pediatric patients with combined deficiencies of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes. Clinical and biochemical data were collected from 55 children. All patients were subjected to sequence analysis of the entire mitochondrial genome, except when the causative mutations had been identified based on the clinical picture. Whole exome sequencing/whole genome sequencing (WES/WGS) was performed in 32 patients. Onset of disease was generally early in life (median age, 6 weeks). The most common symptoms were muscle weakness, hypotonia, and developmental delay/intellectual disability. Nonneurologic symptoms were frequent. Disease causing mutations were found in 20 different nuclear genes, and 7 patients had mutations in mitochondrial DNA. Causative variants were found in 18 of the 32 patients subjected to WES/WGS. Interestingly, many patients had low levels of coenzyme Q10 in muscle, irrespective of genetic cause. Children with combined enzyme defects display a diversity of clinical symptoms with varying age of presentation. We established the genetic diagnosis in 35 of the 55 patients (64%). The high diagnostic yield was achieved by the introduction of massive parallel sequencing, which also revealed novel genes and enabled elucidation of new disease mechanisms.