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Evaluation of bupivacaine-induced muscle regeneration in the treatment of ptosis in patients with chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia and Kearns-Sayre syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard Andrews, Philip Griffiths, Professor Patrick Chinnery, Emeritus Professor Doug Turnbull


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Purpose. Ptosis is common in patients with mitochondrial disease. Whilst surgical shortening of the levator muscle can mechanically elevate the lid, this procedure does not restore normal movement and leaves patients at risk of corneal exposure due to concomitant ophthalmoparesis. Recent studies have shown that bupivacaine-induced muscle regeneration is capable of reversing the molecular genetic and biochemical defect in patients with mitochondrial myopathies. This study was undertaken to assess the potential of this approach in restoring levator muscle function in patients with mitochondrial disease and ptosis. Methods. The levator muscle of one eye in five patients with molecularly genetically confirmed mitochondrial DNA disease and ptosis was directly injected with 3 ml of bupivacaine hydrochloride (0.75%). Levator function was compared before and 3 months after the injection. Results. No objective clinical improvement in levator function was detected following bupivacaine administration. Discussion. The lack of functional recovery seen in our patients is most likely to result from a failure of bupivacaine to induce sufficient regeneration necessary to improve levator muscle function. This result indicates that consideration now needs to be given to the use of alternative and more potent myotoxic agents capable of inducing a more widespread regenerative response from the endogenous muscle satellite cells which contain low or undetectable amounts of mutant mitochondrial DNA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Andrews RM, Griffiths PG, Chinnery PF, Turnbull DM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Eye

Year: 1999

Volume: 13

Issue: 6

Pages: 769-772

Print publication date: 01/12/1999

ISSN (print): 0950-222X

ISSN (electronic):


DOI: 10.1038/eye.1999.225

PubMed id: 10707142


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