Database-assisted global metabolomics profiling of pleural effusion induced by tuberculosis and malignancy

Guodong Cao, Zhengbo Song, Zhiyi Yang, Zhongjian Chen, Yanjun Hong*, Zongwei Cai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Database-assisted global metabolomics has received growing attention due to its capability for unbiased identification of metabolites in various biological samples. Herein, we established a mass spectrometry (MS)-based database-assisted global metabolomics method and investigated metabolic distance between pleural effusion induced by tuberculosis and malignancy, which are difficult to be distinguished due to their similar clinical symptoms. The present method utilized a liquid chromatography (LC) system coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry (MS) working on full scan and data dependent mode for data acquisition. Unbiased identification of metabolites was performed through mass spectral searching and then confirmed by using authentic standards. As a result, a total of 194 endogenous metabolites were identified and 33 metabolites were found to be differentiated between tuberculous and malignant pleural effusions. These metabolites involved in tryptophan catabolism, bile acid biosynthesis, and β-oxidation of fatty acids, provided non-invasive biomarkers for differentiation of the pleural effusion samples with high sensitivity and specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3207-3210
Number of pages4
JournalChinese Chemical Letters
Issue number10
Early online date23 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Database-assisted global metabolomics
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Non-invasive biomarker
  • Pleural effusion


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