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PLoS One. 2013 May 31;8(5):e65035. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065035. Print 2013.

Identifying hypoxia in a newborn piglet model using urinary NMR metabolomic profiling.

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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Establishing the severity of hypoxic insult during the delivery of a neonate is key step in the determining the type of therapy administered. While successful therapy is present, current methods for assessing hypoxic injuries in the neonate are limited. Urine Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) metabolomics allows for the rapid non-invasive assessment of a multitude breakdown products of physiological processes. In a newborn piglet model of hypoxia, we used NMR spectroscopy to determine the levels of metabolites in urine samples, which were correlated with physiological measurements. Using PLS-DA analysis, we identified 13 urinary metabolites that differentiated hypoxic versus nonhypoxic animals (1-methylnicotinamide, 2-oxoglutarate, alanine, asparagine, betaine, citrate, creatine, fumarate, hippurate, lactate, N-acetylglycine, N-carbamoyl-β-alanine, and valine). Using this metabolomic profile, we then were able to blindly identify hypoxic animals correctly 84% of the time compared to nonhypoxic controls. This was better than using physiologic measures alone. Metabolomic profiling of urine has potential for identifying neonates that have undergone episodes of hypoxia.

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