PCr/ATP ratios and mitochondrial function in the heart: A comparative study in humans

Vera H W de Wit-Verheggen, Vera B Schrauwen-Hinderling, Kim Brouwers, Johanna A Jörgensen, Gert Schaart, Anne Gemmink, Emmani B M Nascimento, Matthijs K C Hesselink, Joachim E Wildberger, Patrique Segers, David Montaigne, Bart Staels, Patrick Schrauwen, Lucas Lindeboom, Joris Hoeks, Tineke van de Weijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cardiac energy status, measured as phosphocreatine (PCr)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio with 31P-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (31P-MRS) in vivo, is a prognostic factor in heart failure and is lowered in cardiometabolic disease. It has been suggested that, as oxidative phosphorylation is the major contributor to ATP synthesis, PCr/ATP ratio might be a reflection of cardiac mitochondrial function. The objective of the study was to investigate whether PCr/ATP ratios can be used as in vivo marker for cardiac mitochondrial function. We enrolled thirty-eight patients scheduled for open-heart surgery in this study. Cardiac 31P-MRS was performed before surgery. Tissue from the right atrial appendage was obtained during surgery for high-resolution respirometry for the assessment of mitochondrial function. There was no correlation between the PCr/ATP ratio and ADP-stimulated respiration rates (octanoylcarnitine R2 < 0.005, p = 0.74; pyruvate R2 < 0.025, p = 0.41) nor with maximally uncoupled respiration (octanoylcarnitine R2 = 0.005, p = 0.71; pyruvate R2 = 0.040, p = 0.26). PCr/ATP ratio did correlate with indexed LV end systolic mass. As no direct correlation between cardiac energy status (PCr/ATP) and mitochondrial function in the heart was found, the study suggests that mitochondrial function might not the only determinant of cardiac energy status. Interpretation should be done in the right context in cardiac metabolic studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8346
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • humans
  • phosphocreatine
  • adenosine triphosphate
  • mitochondria
  • pyruvic acid


Dive into the research topics of 'PCr/ATP ratios and mitochondrial function in the heart: A comparative study in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this