Clinical metabolomics and urinary NGAL for the early prediction of chronic kidney disease in healthy adults born ELBW

Luigi Atzori, Michele Mussap, Antonio Noto, Luigi Barberini, Melania Puddu, Elisabetta Coni, Federica Murgia, Milena Lussu, Vassilios Fanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Clinical metabolomics is a recent "omic" technology which is defined as a global holistic overview of the personal metabolic status (fingerprinting). This technique allows to prove metabolic differences in different groups of people with the opportunity to explore interactions such as genotype-phenotype and genotype-environment type, whether normal or pathological. Aim: To study chronic kidney injury 1) using urine metabolomic profiles of young adults born extremely low-birth weight (ELBW) and 2) correlating a biomarker of kidney injury, urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), in order to confirm the metabolomic injury profile. Method: Urine samples were collected from a group of 18 people (mean: 24-year-old, std: 4.27) who were born with ELBW and a group of 13 who were born at term appropriate for gestational age (AGA) as control (mean 25-year-old, std: 5.15). Urine samples were analyzed by 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and then submitted to unsupervised and supervised multivariate analysis. Urine NGAL (uNGAL) was measured using ARCHITECT (ABBOTT diagnostic NGAL kit). Results: With a multivariate approach and using a supervised analysis method, PLS-DA, (partial least squares discriminant analysis) we could correlate ELBW metabolic profiles with uNGAL concentration. Conversely, uNGAL could not be correlated to AGA. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the relevance of the metabolomic technique as a predictive tool of the metabolic status of exELBW. This was confirmed by the use of uNGAL as a biomarker which may predict a subclinical pathological process in the kidney such as chronic kidney disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011



  • Chronic kidney disease
  • ELBW
  • Metabolomics
  • Urine
  • Urine NGAL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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