Increased plasma nuclear and mitochondrial DNA levels have been reported in critically ill patients, and extracellular DNA may originate from damaged tissues having undergone necrosis. This study tested the hypothesis that nuclear and mitochondrial DNA levels in CSF and plasma are substantially increased in patients with acute spontaneous aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and decrease thereafter, such that nuclear and mitochondrial DNA levels may be predictive of treatment outcomes.
Serial nuclear and mitochondrial DNA levels in CSF and plasma from 21 adult patients with spontaneous aneurysmal SAH and 39 healthy volunteers who received myelography examinations during the study period were evaluated.
Data showed that circulating plasma nuclear DNA concentrations and both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA levels in CSF significantly increased in patients with aneurysmal SAH on admission compared with the volunteers. In patients with poor outcome, the CSF nuclear and mitochondrial DNA levels were significantly higher on Days 1 and 4, and plasma nuclear DNA levels were significantly higher from Day 8 to Day 14. Higher CSF nuclear (> 85.1 ng/ml) and mitochondrial DNA levels (> 31.4 ng/ml) on presentation were associated with worse outcome in patients with aneurysmal SAH.
Higher CSF DNA levels on presentation, rather than plasma DNA levels, are associated with worse outcomes in patients with acute spontaneous aneurysmal SAH. More prospective multicenter investigations are needed to confirm the predictive value of CSF and plasma DNA levels on outcome.