Strokelike episodes are a cardinal feature of several mitochondrial syndromes, including mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokelike episodes (MELAS). Recent advances in the understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of strokelike episodes in MELAS have led to improved treatment options.
Current understanding of the cause of strokelike episodes in MELAS and present recommendations to assist in the identification and treatment of patients with MELAS who present with stroke are presented. Mounting evidence points toward a benefit of the nitric oxide precursors, arginine, to both prevent and reduce the severity of strokes in patients with MELAS.
Conclusions and Relevance
Although much information is still needed regarding the appropriate dosing and timing of arginine therapy in patients with MELAS, urgent administration of nitric oxide precursors in patients with MELAS ameliorates the clinical symptoms associated with strokelike episodes.