Applying metabolomics to uncover novel biology in ARDS

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2014 Jun 1;306(11):L957-61. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00376.2013. Epub 2014 Apr 11.


A better understanding of the pathogenesis and the resolution of the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is needed. Although some progress has been made with the use of protein biomarkers and candidate gene studies in understanding the pathobiology of ARDS, we propose that new studies that measure the chemical breakdown products of cellular metabolism (metabolomics) may provide new insights into ARDS, in part because metabolomics targets a later point in the genomics cascade than is possible with studies of DNA, RNA, and protein biomarkers. Technological advances have made large-scale metabolomic profiling increasingly feasible. Metabolomic approaches have already achieved novel insights in nonpulmonary diseases such as diabetes mellitus and malignancy, as well as in sepsis, a major risk factor for developing ARDS. Metabolomic profiling is a promising approach to identify novel pathways in both patients at risk for developing ARDS as well as in the early phase of established ARDS.

Keywords: acute lung injury; acute respiratory failure; genomics; pulmonary edema.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Sepsis / metabolism
  • Sepsis / mortality


  • Biomarkers
  • Proteome