Bretschneider solution-induced alterations in the urine metabolome in cardiac surgery patients

Sci Rep. 2018 Dec 11;8(1):17774. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35631-w.


The development of Bretschneider's histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) cardioplegia solution represented a major advancement in cardiac surgery, offering significant myocardial protection. However, metabolic changes induced by this additive in the whole body have not been systematically investigated. Using an untargeted mass spectrometry-based method to deeply explore the urine metabolome, we sought to provide a holistic and systematic view of metabolic perturbations occurred in patients receiving HTK. Prospective urine samples were collected from 100 patients who had undergone cardiac surgery, and metabolomic changes were profiled using a high-performance chemical isotope labeling liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method. A total of 14,642 peak pairs or metabolites were quantified using differential 13C-/12C-dansyl labeling LC-MS, which targets the amine/phenol submetabolome from urine specimens. We identified 223 metabolites that showed significant concentration change (fold change > 5) and assembled several potential metabolic pathway maps derived from these dysregulated metabolites. Our data indicated upregulated histidine metabolism with subsequently increased glutamine/glutamate metabolism, altered purine and pyrimidine metabolism, and enhanced vitamin B6 metabolism in patients receiving HTK. Our findings provide solid evidence that HTK solution causes significant perturbations in several metabolic pathways and establish a basis for further study of key mechanisms underlying its organ-protective or potential harmful effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amines / metabolism
  • Body Fluids / chemistry
  • Body Fluids / metabolism
  • Carbon Isotopes / chemistry
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Female
  • Glucose / adverse effects
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Male
  • Mannitol / adverse effects
  • Mannitol / pharmacology
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Metabolome / drug effects*
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Potassium Chloride / adverse effects
  • Potassium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Procaine / adverse effects
  • Procaine / pharmacology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Urine / chemistry*


  • Amines
  • Bretschneider cardioplegic solution
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Phenols
  • Mannitol
  • Procaine
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Glucose