Judita J Knez, Katja K Lakota, Nina N Božič, Renata R Okrajšek, Nicholas N Cauwenberghs, Lutgarde L Thijs, Ivan I Kneževič, Bojan B Vrtovec, Ija I Tomšič, Saša S Čučnik, Snežna S Sodin-Šemrl, Tatiana T Kuznetsova, Jana J Brguljan-Hitij


Heart failure (HF) is associated with disturbances in mitochondrial energy production. This mitochondrial dysfunction is reflected by depletion of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in different tissues. Our aims were to determine if there was a correlation between mtDNA content measured in myocardial tissue and the easily accessible peripheral blood cells of patients with non-ischemic HF; and to determine if there was a correlation between myocardial mtDNA and left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction.We prospectively collected paired myocardial tissue and peripheral blood samples from 13 consecutive end-stage non-ischemic HF patients undergoing cardiac transplantation. mtDNA content was assessed with real-time quantitative PCR by calculating the relative ratio of two specific mitochondrial sequences and one nuclear control gene sequence.HF patients with lower myocardial mtDNA content had a significantly lower LV ejection fraction (r = 0.65, p = 0.016). Peripheral blood mtDNA content correlated positively with right ventricular myocardial mtDNA content (r = 0.63, p = 0.021). We also observed that averaged myocardial DNA content tended to correlate with peripheral blood mtDNA content (r = 0.53, p = 0.061).In non-ischemic HF patients, myocardial mtDNA content is positively correlated with peripheral blood mtDNA content and LV function as assessed by echocardiography.