Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 10, 2009

Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry screening of serum metabolomic biomarkers in hepatitis B virus infected cirrhosis patients

Ruyi Xue, Ling Dong, Hao Wu, Taotao Liu, Jiyao Wang and Xizhong Shen


Background: Metabolomic studies have been applied to disease biomarkers selection. With the metabolomic technique, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), human serum metabolites can be detected and identified. The purpose of this study was to investigate the serum metabolic profile of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infected cirrhosis patients and to detect disease biomarkers.

Methods: HBV infected non-cirrhosis male subjects (n=20) and HBV infected cirrhosis male patients (n=20) participated in this experiment. Serum metabolome was detected through chemical derivatization followed by GC/MS. The high-flux metabolomic data were analyzed by stepwise discriminant analysis.

Results: Out of the 41 metabolites detected in serum, we selected metabolites, including acetic acid, sorbitol, D-lactic acid, hexanoic acid, 1-naphthalenamine, butanoic acid, phosphoric acid, D-glucitol, and glucose, which in combination with each other could segregate the two groups. The error count was 0% for the non-cirrhosis group and 25% for the cirrhosis group.

Conclusions: This technique can be used to select biomarkers for hepatic cirrhosis.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:305–10.


Ruyi Xue and Ling Dong contributed equally to the work.

Corresponding author: Prof. Xizhong Shen, room 109, building 7, Zhongshan Hospital, Fenglin Road 180, 200032, Shanghai, China Phone: +86-21-64041990-2070,

Received: 2008-9-13
Accepted: 2009-1-5
Published Online: 2009-02-10
Published in Print: 2009-03-01

©2009 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York