Mitochondrial cardiomyopathy can be described as a condition characterized by abnormal heart-muscle structure and/or function, secondary to mutations in nuclear or mitochondrial DNA. Its severity can range from subclinical to critical conditions. We presented three cases of mitochondrial cardiomyopathy with m.3243A > G mutation and compared the clinical manifestations with the histological findings for each of these cases. All cases showed cardiac hypertrophy, juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus, and hearing loss. Case 1 (43-year-old male) showed less cardiac involvement and shorter duration of mitochondrial disease-related symptoms than case 2 (67-year-old female) and case 3 (51-year-old male), who showed the most advanced cardiac condition and longest duration from the manifestation of heart failure. The histological findings revealed that cardiomyocytes from case 1 showed no hypertrophy and mitochondrial degeneration in electron microscopy. Alternatively, cases 2 and 3 showed hypertrophy in their cardiomyocytes, and mitochondrial degeneration (e.g. onion-like lesions, swollen cristae, and lamellar bodies) was most apparent in case 3. These results suggested that mitochondrial degeneration, as evaluated by electron microscopy, might be correlated with impaired heart function in patients with mitochondrial cardiomyopathy.
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