Mitochondrial disease registries worldwide: A scoping review

PLoS One. 2022 Oct 27;17(10):e0276883. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0276883. eCollection 2022.


Background: Mitochondrial diseases are a large group of genetically heterogeneous and clinically diverse disorders. Diagnosis often takes many years for which treatment may not exist. Registries are often used to conduct research, establish natural disease progression, engage the patient community, and develop best disease management practices. In Canada, there are limited centralized registries for mitochondrial disease patients, presenting a challenge for patients and professionals.

Objective: To support the creation of such a registry, a systematic scoping review was conducted to map the landscape of mitochondrial disease patient registries worldwide, with a focus on registry design and challenges. Furthermore, it addresses a knowledge gap by providing a narrative synthesis of published literature that describes these registries.

Methods: Arksey and O'Malley's methodological framework was followed to systematically search English-language literature in PubMed and CINAHL describing the designs of mitochondrial disease patient registries, supplemented by a grey literature search. Data were extracted in Microsoft Excel. Stakeholder consultations were also performed with patient caregivers, advocates, and researchers to provide perspectives beyond those found in the literature. These data were thematically analyzed and were reported in accordance with the PRISMA-ScR reporting guidelines.

Results: A total of 17 articles were identified describing 13 unique registries located in North America, Europe, Australia, and West Asia. These papers described the registries' designs, their strengths, and weaknesses, as well as their tangible outcomes such as facilitating recruitment for research and supporting epidemiological studies.

Conclusion: Based on our findings in this review, recommendations were formulated. These include establishing registry objectives, respecting patients and their roles in the registry, adopting international data standards, data evaluations, and considerations to privacy legislation, among others. These recommendations could be used to support designing a future Canadian mitochondrial disease patient registry, and to further research directly engaging these registries worldwide.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Mitochondrial Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Mitochondrial Diseases* / therapy
  • Registries
  • Research Personnel*

Grants and funding

The funding for this work was provided by the Department of Health Sciences, Carleton University. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.