Dis Markers 2015 4;2015:857108. Epub 2015 Jun 4.
Centre for Health Protection (GZB), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), 3720 BA Bilthoven, Netherlands.
Objective: To expand the search for preeclampsia (PE) metabolomics biomarkers through the analysis of acylcarnitines in first-trimester maternal serum.
Methods: This was a nested case-control study using serum from pregnant women, drawn between 8 and 14 weeks of gestational age. Metabolites were measured using an UPLC-MS/MS based method. Concentrations were compared between controls (n = 500) and early-onset- (EO-) PE (n = 68) or late-onset- (LO-) PE (n = 99) women. Metabolites with a false discovery rate <10% for both EO-PE and LO-PE were selected and added to prediction models based on maternal characteristics (MC), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and previously established biomarkers (PAPPA, PLGF, and taurine).
Results: Twelve metabolites were significantly different between EO-PE women and controls, with effect levels between -18% and 29%. For LO-PE, 11 metabolites were significantly different with effect sizes between -8% and 24%. Nine metabolites were significantly different for both comparisons. The best prediction model for EO-PE consisted of MC, MAP, PAPPA, PLGF, taurine, and stearoylcarnitine (AUC = 0.784). The best prediction model for LO-PE consisted of MC, MAP, PAPPA, PLGF, and stearoylcarnitine (AUC = 0.700).
Conclusion: This study identified stearoylcarnitine as a novel metabolomics biomarker for EO-PE and LO-PE. Nevertheless, metabolomics-based assays for predicting PE are not yet suitable for clinical implementation.