Acute venous thromboembolism plasma and red blood cell metabolomic profiling reveals potential new early diagnostic biomarkers: observational clinical study

Cláudia Febra, Joana Saraiva, Fátima Vaz, João Macedo, Hamza Mohammad Al-Hroub, Mohammad Harb Semreen, Rui Maio, Vitor Gil, Nelson Soares, Deborah Penque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a leading cause of cardiovascular mortality. The diagnosis of acute VTE is based on complex imaging exams due to the lack of biomarkers. Recent multi-omics based research has contributed to the development of novel biomarkers in cardiovascular diseases. Our aim was to determine whether patients with acute VTE have differences in the metabolomic profile compared to non-acute VTE. Methods: This observational trial included 62 patients with clinical suspicion of acute deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, admitted to the emergency room. There were 50 patients diagnosed with acute VTE and 12 with non-acute VTE conditions and no significant differences were found between the two groups for clinical and demographic characteristics. Metabolomics assays identified and quantified a final number of 91 metabolites in plasma and 55 metabolites in red blood cells (RBCs). Plasma from acute VTE patients expressed tendency to a specific metabolomic signature, with univariate analyses revealing 23 significantly different molecules between acute VTE patients and controls (p < 0.05). The most relevant metabolic pathway with the strongest impact on the acute VTE phenotype was d-glutamine and d-glutamate (p = 0.001, false discovery rate = 0.06). RBCs revealed a specific metabolomic signature in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of DVT or PE that distinguished them from other acutely diseased patients, represented by 20 significantly higher metabolites and four lower metabolites. Three of those metabolites revealed high performant ROC curves, including adenosine 3′,5′-diphosphate (AUC 0.983), glutathione (AUC 0.923), and adenine (AUC 0.91). Overall, the metabolic pathway most impacting to the differences observed in the RBCs was the purine metabolism (p = 0.000354, false discovery rate = 0.68). Conclusions: Our findings show that metabolite differences exist between acute VTE and nonacute VTE patients admitted to the ER in the early phases. Three potential biomarkers obtained from RBCs showed high performance for acute VTE diagnosis. Further studies should investigate accessible laboratory methods for the future daily practice usefulness of these metabolites for the early diagnosis of acute VTE in the ER.

Original languageEnglish
Article number200
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2024


  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Metabolomics
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Venous thromboembolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute venous thromboembolism plasma and red blood cell metabolomic profiling reveals potential new early diagnostic biomarkers: observational clinical study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this