EFNS guidelines on the molecular diagnosis of mitochondrial disorders


J. Finsterer, Postfach 20, 1180 Vienna, Austria (tel.: +43 1 71165 92085; fax: +43 1 4781711; e-mail: fifigs1@yahoo.de).


Objectives:  These European Federation of Neurological Sciences (EFNS) guidelines are designed to provide practical help for the general neurologist to make appropriate use of molecular genetics for diagnosing mitochondrial disorders (MIDs), which gain increasing attention and are more frequently diagnosed due to improved diagnostic tools.

Background:  Since the publication of the first EFNS guidelines on the molecular diagnosis of inherited neurological diseases in 2001, rapid progress has been made in this field, necessitating the creation of an updated version.

Search strategy:  To collect data about the molecular diagnosis of MIDs search for literature in various electronic databases, such as Cochrane library, MEDLINE, OMIM, GENETEST or Embase, were carried out and original papers, meta-analyses, review papers, and guideline recommendations were reviewed.

Results:  The guidelines summarise the possibilities and limitations of molecular genetic diagnosis of MIDs and provide practical recommendations and diagnostic criteria in accordance with the EFNS Scientific Committee to guide the molecular diagnostic work-up of MIDs.

Recommendations:  The proposed guidelines suggest an approach to the molecular diagnosis of MIDs in a manner accessible to general neurologists.