Do not just do it, do it right: urinary metabolomics - establishing clinically relevant baselines

Drupad K. Trivedi, Ray K. Iles

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Metabolomics is currently being adopted as a tool to understand numerous clinical pathologies. It is essential to choose the best combination of techniques in order to optimize the information gained from the biological sample examined. For example, separation by reverse-phase liquid chromatography may be suitable for biological fluids in which lipids, proteins and small organic compounds coexist in a relatively nonpolar environment, such as serum. However, urine is a highly polar environment and metabolites are often specifically altered to render them polar suitable for normal phase/hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography. Similarly, detectors such as high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS) may negate the need for a pre-separation but specific detection and quantification of less abundant analytes in targeted metabolomics may require concentration of the ions by methods such an ion trap MS. In addition, the inherent variability of metabolomic profiles need to be established in appropriately large sample sets of normal controls. This review aims to explore various techniques that have been tried and tested over the past decade. Consideration is given to various key drawbacks and positive alternatives published by active research groups and an optimum combination that should be used for urinary metabolomics is suggested to generate a reliable dataset for baseline studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1491-1501
    Number of pages11
    JournalBiomedical Chromatography
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2014


    • Chromatography
    • Metabolomics
    • Shotgun analysis
    • Urine


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