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J Neuroophthalmol. 2018 Dec;38(4):466-469. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000000623.

Cardiac Disorders in Patients With Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.

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Functional Unit of Ophthalmology, Reference Center for Rares Diseases in Ophthalmology OPHTARA, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France.



Cardiac abnormalities have been described in patients with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). Some are life-threatening because of the risk of ventricular fibrillation and sudden death. The purpose of our study was to better characterize the cardiac abnormalities in a large patient cohort with LHON.


A retrospective study of the electrocardiogram (EKG) results performed on all patients with LHON evaluated at The Reference Center for Rare Diseases in Ophthalmology, Paris, France, from January 2015 to June 2017.


Our series included 73 patients with LHON (9 women/64 men) with a mean age of 30.29 ± 14.48 years. Although only 1 patient had cardiac complaints, cardiac abnormalities were detected in 17 patients (23.2%): 9 patients had an excitation syndrome, 6 had atrioventricular block, and 2 had repolarization abnormalities. All patients harbored mtDNA point mutations 11778 or 3460.


Cardiac abnormalities occur frequently enough in patients with LHON that a baseline EKG is warranted. However, further studies are needed to determine the true cardiac risk associated with specific LHON mtDNA mutations.

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