Rapid and noninvasive diagnosis of the presence and severity of coronary heart disease using 1H-NMR-based metabonomics

Nat Med. 2002 Dec;8(12):1439-44. doi: 10.1038/nm1202-802. Epub 2002 Nov 25.


Although a wide range of risk factors for coronary heart disease have been identified from population studies, these measures, singly or in combination, are insufficiently powerful to provide a reliable, noninvasive diagnosis of the presence of coronary heart disease. Here we show that pattern-recognition techniques applied to proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectra of human serum can correctly diagnose not only the presence, but also the severity, of coronary heart disease. Application of supervised partial least squares-discriminant analysis to orthogonal signal-corrected data sets allows >90% of subjects with stenosis of all three major coronary vessels to be distinguished from subjects with angiographically normal coronary arteries, with a specificity of >90%. Our studies show for the first time a technique capable of providing an accurate, noninvasive and rapid diagnosis of coronary heart disease that can be used clinically, either in population screening or to allow effective targeting of treatments such as statins.

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Coronary Disease / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods*