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Diabetologia. 2008 Sep;51(9):1664-70. doi: 10.1007/s00125-008-1073-1. Epub 2008 Jun 26.

Retinal and renal complications in patients with a mutation of mitochondrial DNA at position 3,243 (maternally inherited diabetes and deafness). A case-control study.

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APHP, Department of Ophthalmology, Lariboisiere Hospital, University Paris 7 Denis-Diderot, Paris, France.



We assessed the prevalence and determinants of retinal and renal complications in patients with maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD).


This was a multicentre prospective study comparing the prevalence of retinopathy and renal disease in 74 patients with MIDD and 134 control patients matched for sex, age and clinical presentation at onset of diabetes, duration of diabetes and current treatment. Comparisons were adjusted for HbA(1c) and hypertension.


In MIDD patients, HbA(1c) (7.6 +/- 1.6 vs 8.5 +/- 2.0%, p < 0.002), systolic blood pressure (126.6 +/- 16.2 vs 133.1 +/- 17.3 mmHg, p < 0.007) and prevalence of hypertension (33.8 vs 64.2%, p < 0.0001) were lower than in control patients. Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 3.7-fold lower in MIDD patients (6/74, 8 vs 40/134, 29.6%, p < 0.0001). Differences between groups remained significant after adjustment for hypertension, systolic blood pressure and HbA(1c). In MIDD, urinary albumin excretion (314.8 vs 80.1 mg/24 h, p = 0.035) and creatinine plasma levels (103.5 vs 82.2 micromol/l, p = 0.0178) were higher and GFR was lower. Impaired renal function (GFR <60 ml/min) was four- to sixfold more frequent in MIDD. Differences between MIDD and control diabetic patients further increased when adjusted for HbA(1c) and systolic blood pressure (p < 0.0001). Adjustment for treatment with an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor antagonist did not modify the results.


This study indicates that diabetic retinopathy is less prevalent in MIDD than in control diabetes. This suggests that retinal alterations due to mitochondrial disease may have a protective role. By contrast, nephropathy is far more frequent in MIDD, suggesting the presence of a specific renal disease independent of diabetic nephropathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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