Plasma acylcarnitines are associated with pulmonary hypertension

Nancy Luo, Damian Craig, Olga Ilkayeva, Michael Muehlbauer, William E. Kraus, Christopher B. Newgard, Svati H. Shah, Sudarshan Rajagopal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Quantifying metabolic derangements in pulmonary hypertension (PH) by plasma metabolomics could identify biomarkers useful for diagnosis and treatment. The objective of this paper is to test the hypotheses that circulating metabolites are differentially expressed in PH patients compared with controls and among different hemodynamic subtypes of PH associated with left heart disease. We studied patients enrolled in the CATHGEN biorepository with PH (right heart catheterization mPAP ≥ 25 mmHg; n = 280). Of these, 133 met criteria for postcapillary PH, 82 for combined precapillary and postcapillary PH (CpcPH), and 65 for precapillary PH. Targeted profiling of 63 metabolites (acylcarnitines, amino acids, and ketones) was performed using tandem flow injection mass spectrometry. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine differences in metabolite factors derived from a principal components analysis between PH cases, PH subtypes, and non-PH controls. In adjusted models, the metabolite factor loaded with long-chain acylcarnitines was higher in all PH cases versus non-PH controls (P = 0.00008), but did not discriminate between CpcPH and postcapillary PH (P = 0.56). In analyses of subtypes, CpcPH patients had lower levels of factors loaded with urea cycle amino acids and short chain acylcarnitines as compared to controls (P = 0.002 and P = 0.01, respectively) and as compared to postcapillary PH (P = 0.04 and P = 0.02, respectively). Compared to controls, PH was strongly associated with greater concentrations of long-chain acylcarnitines. Postcapillary PH and CpcPH were weakly associated with distinct metabolomic profiles. These findings suggest the presence of unique metabolic abnormalities in subtypes of PH and may reflect underlying pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalPulmonary Circulation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemodynamics
  • Metabolomics
  • Pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma acylcarnitines are associated with pulmonary hypertension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this