The potential for mitochondrial (mt) DNA mutation accumulation during antiretroviral therapy (ART), and preferential accumulation in patients with lipoatrophy compared with control participants, remains controversial. We sequenced the entire mitochondrial genome, both before ART and after ART exposure, in 29 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected Swiss HIV Cohort Study participants initiating a first-line thymidine analogue-containing ART regimen. No accumulation of mtDNA mutations or deletions was detected in 13 participants who developed lipoatrophy or in 16 control participants after significant and comparable ART exposure (median duration, 3.3 and 3.7 years, respectively). In HIV-infected persons, the development of lipoatrophy is unlikely to be associated with accumulation of mtDNA mutations detectable in peripheral blood.
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