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Metabolomics Discloses a New Non-invasive Method for the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Patients with Alcoholic Hepatitis

Javier Michelena, Cristina Alonso, Ibon Martinez-Arranz, José Altamirano, Rebeca Mayo, Pau Sancho-Bru, Ramón Bataller, Pere Ginès, Azucena Castro, Juan Caballería


Introduction and aims. Alcoholic hepatitis is the most severe manifestation of alcoholic liver disease. Unfortunately, there are still some unresolved issues in the diagnosis and management of this disease, such as the need of histological diagnosis, an accurate prognostic stratification, and the development of novel targeted therapies. The present study aimed at addressing these issues by means of metabolomics, a novel high-throughput approach useful in other liver diseases. Material and methods. 64 patients with biopsy-proven alcoholic hepatitis were included and compared with 26 patients with decompensated alcoholic cirrhosis without superimposed alcoholic hepatitis, which was ruled out by liver biopsy. Results. The comparison of the metabolic profiles of patients with alcoholic hepatitis and decompensated cirrhosis showed marked differences between both groups. Importantly, metabolic differences were found among alcoholic hepatitis patients when subjects were stratified according to 90-day survival. Based on these findings, two non-invasive signatures were developed. The first one allowed an accurate non-invasive diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis (AUROC 0.932; 95% CI 0.901-0.963). The second signature showed a good performance in the prognostic stratification of patients with alcoholic hepatitis (AUROC 0.963; 95% CI 0.895-1.000). Conclusions. Signatures based on metabolomics allowed an accurate non-invasive diagnosis and prognostic stratification of alcoholic hepatitis. The differences observed in the metabolic profile of the patients according to the presence and severity of alcoholic hepatitis are related with different mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of alcoholic hepatitis such as peroxisomal activity, synthesis of inflammatory mediators or oxidation. This information could be useful for the development of novel targeted therapies.

Key words. Alcoholic hepatitis, Metabolomics, Non-invasive diagnosis, Prognosis, Lipidomics

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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