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Anal Chim Acta. 2011 Apr 8;691(1-2):68-75. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2011.02.038. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Fecal metabolome profiling of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma patients by ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, 1st Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, PR China.


Fecal metabolome of healthy humans and patients suffering from liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were studied using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF MS). Metabolic features detected by the method were then statistically treated using partial least squares to latent structure-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) models to discriminate between healthy and diseased states. PLS-DA was also used to discriminate between cirrhosis and HCC stressed fecal metabolomes and to identify potential biomarkers for cirrhosis and HCC that are expressed at significantly different amounts in fecal metabolomes. Score plots of pattern recognition analysis distinguished liver cirrhosis and HCC patients from healthy humans. Based on the variable of importance in the project (VIP) values and S-plots, six metabolites were considered as potential biomarkers with a strong increase in lysophosphatidylcholines and a dramatic decrease in bile acids and bile pigments in patients with liver cirrhosis and HCC in comparison with healthy humans. Results demonstrate the potential of UPLC-MS as an efficient and convenient method that can be applied to screen fecal samples and aid in the early diagnosis of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

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