While decreased ATP production and redox imbalance are central to mitochondrial disease pathogenesis, efforts to develop effective treatments have been hampered by the lack of imaging markers of oxidative stress. In this study we wished to determine if Tc99m-HMPAO, a SPECT imaging marker of cerebral blood flow and glutathione/protein thiol content, could be used to monitor the effect(s) of EPI-743, an oral redox modulating, para-benzoquinone based therapeutic for mitochondrial disease. We hypothesized that treatment changes in HMPAO uptake would be inversely proportional to changes in oxidative stress within the brain and directly correlate to clinical response to EPI-743 therapy. Twenty-two patients with mitochondrial disease were treated with EPI-743. Each underwent baseline and 3-month Tc99m-HMPAO SPECT scanning along with clinical/neurologic evaluations. Diseases treated were: Leigh syndrome (n=7), polymerase ? deficiency (n=5), MELAS (n=5), Friedreich ataxia (n=2), Kearns-Sayre syndrome, Pearson syndrome, and mtDNA depletion syndrome. Neuro-anatomic uptake analyses of HMPAO were performed with NeuroGam™ (Segami Corp.) statistical software and clinical response was assessed by the Newcastle Paediatric Mitochondrial Disease Scale or Newcastle Mitochondrial Disease Adult Scale depending on patient age. For all 22 patients there was a significant linear correlation between the change in cerebellar uptake of HMPAO and the improvement in Newcastle score (r=0.623, **p=0.00161). The MELAS subgroup showed a significant relationship of whole brain uptake (n=5, r=0.917, *p=0.028) to improvement in Newcastle score. We conclude that Tc99m-HMPAO SPECT scanning has promise as a general marker of the oxidative state of the brain and its response to redox modulating therapies. Further studies will be needed to confirm these findings in a more homogenous study population.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ymgme.2012.09.023
View details for Web of Science ID 000311816200010
View details for PubMedID 23084792