Urinary Metabotyping of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a UK Cohort Using Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

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Background Discriminatory metabolic profiles have been described in urinary 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy studies of African patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aimed to assess similarities in a UK cohort, where there is a greater etiological diversity. Methods Urine from cirrhosis and HCC patients was analyzed using a 600 MHz 1H NMR system. Multivariate analysis and median group MR spectra comparison identified metabolite alterations between groups. Metabolite identification was achieved through literature reference and statistical total correlation spectroscopy. Diagnostic accuracy was compared to serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). Results Of the 52 patients recruited, 13 samples from HCC and 25 from cirrhosis patients were selected. At 200 IU mL−1, diagnostic sensitivity of AFP was 27%. Multivariate analysis of urinary spectra generated diagnostic models with a sensitivity/specificity of 53.6%/96%. p-Cresol sulfate (P = 0.04), creatinine (P = 0.03), citrate (P = 0.21) and hippurate (P = 0.52) were reduced in the HCC patients. Carnitine (P = 0.31) and formate (P = 0.44) were elevated. Conclusion Diagnostic sensitivity was lower than previous African studies, but still outperformed serum AFP. Reduced creatinine, citrate and hippurate and elevated carnitine are comparable with the African studies. p-Cresol sulfate alteration is a novel finding and may indicate an altered sulfonation capacity of the liver in patients with HCC.




Shariff, M. I. F., Kim, J. U., Ladep, N. G., Crossey, M. M. E., Koomson, L. K., Zabron, A., … Taylor-Robinson, S. D. (2016). Urinary Metabotyping of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a UK Cohort Using Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology, 6(3), 186–194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jceh.2016.03.003

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