Potential Diagnostic and Prognostic Value of Lymphocytic Mitochondrial DNA Deletion in Relation to Folic Acid Status in HCV-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Virology and Immunology Unit, Cancer Biology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

2 Endemic Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

3 Department of public health, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

4 Yassin Abdel Ghaffar Charity Hospital, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


Objective: We assessed the possibility of using mitochondrial (mt) DNA deletion as a molecular biomarker for disease progression in HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to identify its association with folic acid status. Methods: Serum folic acid and lymphocytic mtDNA deletions were assessed in 90 patients; 50 with HCC, 20 with liver cirrhosis (LC), and 20 with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) compared to 10 healthy control subjects. The diagnostic accuracy of mtDNA deletions frequency was evaluated using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis Survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Differences in the survival rates were compared using log-rank test. Result: Our data revealed a significant elevation of mtDNA deletions frequency in the HCC group compared to the other groups (P-value <0.01). Also, our data showed a significant correlation between folate deficiency and high frequency of mtDNA deletions in patients with HCV-related HCC when compared to the other groups (r= -0.094 and P-value <0.05). Moreover, the size of the hepatic focal lesion in the HCC patients was positively correlated with mtDNA deletions (r= 0.09 and P-value <0.01). The median survival time for the HCC patients with high frequency of mtDNA deletions (ΔCt ≥3.9; 5.7+ 0.6 months) was significantly shorter than those with low mtDNA deletions frequency (ΔCt < 3.9; 11.9+ 0.04 months, P-value <0.01). Conclusion: Our data provided an evidence that lymphocytic mtDNA deletion could be used as non-invasive biomarker for disease progression and patients’ survival in HCV-related HCC. Also, our findings implied a causal relationship between the folate deficiency and the high mtDNA deletions frequency among Egyptian patients with HCV related HCC.


Main Subjects

Volume 18, Issue 9
September 2017
Pages 2451-2457
  • Receive Date: 27 April 2017
  • Revise Date: 24 June 2017
  • Accept Date: 11 August 2017
  • First Publish Date: 01 September 2017