NMR-Based Serum Metabolomics Discriminates Takayasu Arteritis from Healthy Individuals: A Proof-of-Principle Study

Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a debilitating, systemic disease that involves the aorta and large arteries in a chronic inflammatory process that leads to vessel stenosis. Initially, the disease remains clinically silent (or remains undetected) until the patients present with vascular occlusion. Therefore, new methods for appropriate and timely diagnosis of TA cases are needed to start proper therapy on time and also to monitor the patient’s response to the given treatment. In this context, NMR-based serum metabolomic profiling has been explored in this proof-of-principle study for the first time to determine characteristic metabolites that could be potentially helpful for diagnosis and prognosis of TA. Serum metabolic profiling of TA patients (<i>n</i> = 29) and healthy controls (<i>n</i> = 30) was performed using 1D <sup>1</sup>H NMR spectroscopy, and possible biomarker metabolites were identified. Using projection to least-squares discriminant analysis, we could distinguish TA patients from healthy controls. Compared to healthy controls, TA patients had (a) increased serum levels of choline metabolites, LDL cholesterol, N-acetyl glycoproteins (NAGs), and glucose and (b) decreased serum levels of lactate, lipids, HDL cholesterol, and glucogenic amino acids. The results of this study are preliminary and need to be confirmed in a prospective study.