Metabolomics of alcoholic liver disease: a clinical discovery study†
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is associated with poor health, diseases and dysfunctions worldwide. Unfortunately, current biomarkers, including PCIII, IV-C, LN, and HA levels, are expensive and lack sensitivity in ALD detection. Because these biomarkers are invasive, time-consuming or expensive, ALD is usually diagnosed at late stages, for which there are no effective therapies. Thus, biomarkers for the early detection of ALD are urgently needed. Thankfully, metabolomics is a powerful technology that allows the assessment of global low-molecular-weight metabolites in a biological system and shows great potential in biomarker discovery. Analysis of the key metabolites in body fluids has become an important part of improving the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of diseases. Urine biomarkers may be a more attractive option, but none can currently detect ALD with the required accuracy. Herein, we describe our metabolomics approach for detecting ALD in a group of 206 patients. A total of six urinary differential metabolites that contributed to ALD progress were identified, and more importantly we discovered three of them with an accuracy of more than 95%. The biomarker panel may be sensitive to early diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of ALD.