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Evolution of ARDS biomarkers: Will metabolomics be the answer?

Metwaly, Sayed; Cote, Andreanne; Donnelly, Sarah J.; Banoei, Mohammad M.; Mourad, Ahmed I.; Winston, Brent W.

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June 28, 2018



To date, there is no clinically agreed-upon diagnostic test for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS): the condition is still diagnosed on the basis of a constellation of clinical findings, laboratory tests, and radiological images. Development of ARDS biomarkers has been in a state of continuous flux during the past four decades. To address ARDS heterogeneity, several studies have recently focused on subphenotyping the disease on the basis of observable clinical characteristics and associated blood biomarkers. However, the strong correlation between identified biomarkers and ARDS subphenotypes has yet to establish etiology; hence, there is a need for the adoption of other methodologies for studying ARDS. In this review, we will shed light on ARDS metabolomics research in the literature and discuss advances and major obstacles encountered in ARDS metabolomics research. Generally, the ARDS metabolomics studies focused on identification of differentiating metabolites for diagnosing ARDS, but they were performed to different standards in terms of sample size, selection of control cohort, type of specimens collected, and measuring technique utilized. Virtually none of these studies have been properly validated to identify true metabolomics biomarkers of ARDS. Though in their infancy, metabolomics studies exhibit promise to unfold the biological processes underlying ARDS and, in our opinion, have great potential for pushing forward our present understanding of ARDS.

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