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Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes syndrome (MELAS) is a rare inherited mitochondrial disorder associated with severe multiorgan pathology and stress-induced episodes of metabolic decompensation and lactic acidosis. The purpose of this case series is to review the medical records of patients with MELAS who underwent anesthetic care at the Mayo Clinic to observe their perioperative responses to anesthesia and to assess outcomes. PRINCIPAL
From September 1997 to October 2010, nine patients with MELAS were identified who underwent 20 general anesthetics, 12 prior to MELAS diagnosis. Debilitating neurologic symptoms involved eight patients, and three patients had substantial cardiac comorbidities. The patients tolerated commonly used anesthetics and muscle relaxants, including succinylcholine. Lactated Ringer's solution was used frequently. One patient was noted to have elevated postoperative serum lactate, but his serum lactate was chronically elevated. Metabolic acidosis was not observed in any patient. Hyponatremia and hyperkalemia, sometimes profound, were observed in seven patients, but these abnormalities also occurred at times remote from surgery. Two patients developed renal dysfunction following cardiac surgery and abdominal surgery for severe sepsis.
The MELAS patients developed episodes of hyponatremia and hyperkalemia of variable severity unrelated to the timing of surgery, suggesting these patients are prone to major electrolyte disturbances. Given the propensity to develop acid-base disturbances and lactacidemia, it is prudent to review and normalize electrolyte abnormalities and to adjust the anesthetic plan accordingly. Fortunately, the limited data suggest that patients with MELAS tolerate commonly used anesthetic drugs well.
Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Canadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anesthesie
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Acidosis caused by accumulation of lactic acid more rapidly than it can be metabolized. It may occur spontaneously or in association with diseases such as diabetes mellitus, leukemia, or liver failure.
A group of metabolic disorders primarily of infancy characterized by the subacute onset of psychomotor retardation, hypotonia, ataxia, weakness, vision loss, eye movement abnormalities, seizures, dysphagia, and lactic acidosis. Pathological features include spongy degeneration of the neuropile of the basal ganglia, thalamus, brain stem, and spinal cord. Patterns of inheritance include X-linked recessive, autosomal recessive, and mitochondrial. Leigh disease has been associated with mutations in genes for the PYRUVATE DEHYDROGENASE COMPLEX; CYTOCHROME-C OXIDASE; ATP synthase subunit 6; and subunits of mitochondrial complex I. (From Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p850).
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