Plasma metabolomics for the diagnosis and prognosis of H1N1 influenza pneumonia
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BACKGROUND: Metabolomics is a tool that has been used for the diagnosis and prognosis of specific diseases. The purpose of this study was to examine if metabolomics could be used as a potential diagnostic and prognostic tool for H1N1 pneumonia. Our hypothesis was that metabolomics can potentially be used early for the diagnosis and prognosis of H1N1 influenza pneumonia. METHODS: 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were used to profile the metabolome in 42 patients with H1N1 pneumonia, 31 ventilated control subjects in the intensive care unit (ICU), and 30 culture-positive plasma samples from patients with bacterial community-acquired pneumonia drawn within the first 24 h of hospital admission for diagnosis and prognosis of disease. RESULTS: We found that plasma-based metabolomics from samples taken within 24 h of hospital admission can be used to discriminate H1N1 pneumonia from bacterial pneumonia and nonsurvivors from survivors of H1N1 pneumonia. Moreover, metabolomics is a highly sensitive and specific tool for the 90-day prognosis of mortality in H1N1 pneumonia. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that H1N1 pneumonia can create a quite different plasma metabolic profile from bacterial culture-positive pneumonia and ventilated control subjects in the ICU on the basis of plasma samples taken within 24 h of hospital/ICU admission, early in the course of disease.
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