Mitochondrial Disease Care at Seattle Children’s

The Program for Mitochondrial Medicine and Metabolism at Seattle Children’s, led by renowned clinician and researcher Dr. Russ Saneto, provides care for children with mitochondrial diseases and other metabolic disorders. This program combines expert clinical care based at Seattle Children’s with cutting-edge research taking place at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Care for children with mitochondrial problems requires interdisciplinary teamwork by many kinds of healthcare providers. The expert team at Seattle Children’s includes experts in neurology (with specialty in epilepsy), anesthesia, biochemical genetics (with specialty in inborn errors of metabolism), neuropsychology, neuroimaging, vision and eye movements, cardiology and gastrointestinal disorders.


Seattle Children’s Hospital is a certified Mitochondrial Medicine Center by the Mitochondrial Care Network. When a child is referred to Seattle Children’s for mitochondrial disease treatment, their families can be confident that they are receiving an excellent standard of care.

In February 2021, the Department of Laboratories at Seattle Children’s Hospital began offering Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Enzyme Analysis in muscle for patients suspected of having mitochondrial disease. This allows, for the first time ever, muscle biopsies to be collected and analyzed on site at Seattle Children’s, leading to faster diagnosis and customized treatment. This laboratory test, developed with funding from the Mitochondrial Research Guild, can provide supporting evidence for a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease in patients with clinical symptoms and negative or inconclusive DNA results. This is a powerful diagnostic resource for patients and families who are dealing with the ambiguity that often accompanies suspected mitochondrial disease. Specific ordering information for physicians can be found online at the Seattle Children’s test catalog.

Seattle Children’s Hospital has been delivering superior patient care for over 100 years including advancing new discoveries and treatments in pediatric research, and serving as a primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, which is ranked one of the top 10 pediatrics programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.