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Three plasma metabolite signatures for diagnosing high altitude pulmonary edema

Li Guo, Guangguo Tan, Ping Liu, Huijie Li, Lulu Tang, Lan Huang, Qian Ren
Scientific Reports 2015, 5: 15126
High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is a potentially fatal condition, occurring at altitudes greater than 3,000 m and affecting rapidly ascending, non-acclimatized healthy individuals. However, the lack of biomarkers for this disease still constitutes a bottleneck in the clinical diagnosis. Here, ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with Q-TOF mass spectrometry was applied to study plasma metabolite profiling from 57 HAPE and 57 control subjects. 14 differential plasma metabolites responsible for the discrimination between the two groups from discovery set (35 HAPE subjects and 35 healthy controls) were identified. Furthermore, 3 of the 14 metabolites (C8-ceramide, sphingosine and glutamine) were selected as candidate diagnostic biomarkers for HAPE using metabolic pathway impact analysis. The feasibility of using the combination of these three biomarkers for HAPE was evaluated, where the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was 0.981 and 0.942 in the discovery set and the validation set (22 HAPE subjects and 22 healthy controls), respectively. Taken together, these results suggested that this composite plasma metabolite signature may be used in HAPE diagnosis, especially after further investigation and verification with larger samples.

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