Hypoperfusion on single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) of the stroke-like lesion (SLL) at the hyperacute stage of mitochondrial encephalopathy with lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) is considered to be a supportive evidence of the mitochondrial angiopathy theory. Our objectives were to examine whether other neuroimages, especially transcranial color-coded sonography (TCCS), done at the hyperacute stage of stroke-like episode (SLE) is consistent with hypoperfusion of the SLL. We reviewed the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), SPECT, cerebral angiography, and TCCS of a patient with MELAS syndrome, all of which were performed at the hyperacute stage of one SLE. MRI on the 1st day post SLE showed right temporoparietal lesion with vasogenic edema. SPECT on the 2nd day showed focal decreased uptake of technetium-99m hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime (99mTc-HMPAO) in the same region, but cerebral angiography and TCCS on the 3rd day showed increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and distal arteriole dilation in the same region. TCCS can delineate increased rCBF of the SLL at the hyperacute stage of SLE. We propose that the discrepancy between the decreased 99mTc-HMPAO uptake and increased rCBF might be caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. The phenomenon of "hypoperfusion" on SPECT might be caused by cell dysfunction but not decreased rCBF. We suggest that SPECT can be complemented by angiography and TCCS in future studies to delineate the perfusion status of SLLs.
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