1 Department of Pediatrics, Hospital São Teotónio-Centro Hospitalar Tondela Viseu, Viseu, Portugal
2 Department of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Dona Estefânia - Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Central, Lisboa, Portugal
- Revista Case Rep 2013; doi 10.1136/bcr-2013-009485
Lactate is the endogenous end product of the anaerobic glycolysis, whose production is favoured in situations of hypoperfusion or mitochondrial dysfunction. Leigh syndrome is a rare, progressive encephalomyopathy that represents a spectrum of mitochondrial genetic diseases phenotypically distinct, but with neuroradiological and pathological uniform presentation. We present the case of a 7-month-old infant, with a history of prematurity, psychomotor retardation and epilepsy, admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) due to cardio- respiratory arrest because of respiratory infection. Hyperlactacidaemia was detected and was persistent. The study of redox potential was normal but MRI with spectroscopy identiﬁed bilateral and symmetrical lesions involving thalamic and basal ganglia, with small lactate peaks at T2 ﬂair, ﬁndings that were suggestive of Leigh syndrome. Subsequent enzymatic study identiﬁed lack of pyruvate dehydrogenase. Persistent hyperlactacidaemia, in the appropriate clinical context, should lead to the screening of mitochondrial diseases.