Fingerprinting-based metabolomic approach with LC-MS to sleep apnea and hypopnea syndrome: a pilot study

Electrophoresis. 2013 Oct;34(19):2873-81. doi: 10.1002/elps.201300081. Epub 2013 Aug 16.


Sleep apnea and hypopnea syndrome (SAHS) is a multicomponent disorder, with associated cardiovascular and metabolic alterations, second in order of frequency among respiratory disorders. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, which requires having the patient in hospital. In addition, a more clear classification of patients according to mild and severe presentations would be desirable. The aim of the present study was to assess the relative metabolic changes in SAHS to identify new potential biomarkers for diagnosis, able to evaluate disease severity to establish response to therapeutic interventions and outcomes. For this purpose, metabolic fingerprinting represents a valuable strategy to monitor, in a nontargeted manner, the changes that are at the base of the pathophysiological mechanism of SAHS. Plasma samples of 33 SAHS patients were collected after polysomnography and analyzed with LC coupled to MS (LC-QTOF-MS). After data treatment and statistical analysis, signals differentiating nonsevere and severe patients were detected. Putative identification of 14 statistically significant features was obtained and changes that can be related to the episodes of hypoxia/reoxygenation (inflammation) have been highlighted. Among them, the patterns of variation of platelet activating factor and lysophospholipids, together with some compounds related to differential activity of the gut microflora (bile pigments and pipecolic acid) open new lines of research that will benefit our understanding of the alterations, offering new possibilities for adequate monitoring of the stage of the disease.

Keywords: Fingerprinting; LC-QTOF-MS; Metabolomics; Sleep apnea and hypopnea syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / blood*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / metabolism*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / blood*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / metabolism*