Background: Damage to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been described in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The presence of mtDNA 4977bp deletion in many different tissues can serve as a marker of this damage. However, no attempt has been made to detect the presence of mtDNA 4977bp in blood cells of patients with CKD.
Methods: Polymerase chain reaction techniques (PCR) were used to detect mtDNA 4977bp deletion in blood samples of 94 CKD patients.
Results: The prevalence of 4977bp deletion in mtDNA was 73.1% (38/52) in patients with CKD undergoing hemodialysis, 57.1% (27/42) in patients with CKD receiving conservative treatment, and 27.8% (15/54) in control samples (p < 0.001). Higher prevalence of this mutation was not associated with patient age (p = 0.54) or time on hemodialysis (p = 0.70).
Conclusion: The higher prevalence of mtDNA 4977bp deletion in patients in this study indicates that the CKD can induce damage to mtDNA in blood cells and could be exacerbated by hemodialysis.