Biochemical-metabolic urinary profiles can have a role in the identification of early-onset asthma.
The early identification of children who will develop asthma represents a key field of research. Metabolomic analyses are particular useful to identify the profiles associated with a given condition, especially when they require non-invasive sample collection like urine.
In a recent study carried out byCarraro S. and others, urine samples were collected on 13 healthy children (aged 3.6±1.3 years), as well as 32 children with recurrent wheezing (at least 3 episodes of wheezing diagnosed by a physician during the previous 12 months). After 3 follow-up years, the 32 children were classified as cases of transient wheezing or early-onset asthma. Interestingly, the authors used an advanced statistical methodology, i.e. partial least square discriminant analysis based on VIP (variable influence on projection) selection (VIP-based PLS-DA) and Monte-Carlo sampling, to highlight the subset of variables useful to discriminate between the groups.
The authors identified a subset of metabolomic variables that allowed to clearly distinguish between “transient wheezing” and “early-onset asthma” (AUC=0.99 and AUC=0.88 on sevenfold full cross-validation). The ability to distinguish between “recurrent wheezing” and healthy controls was even higher (AUC=1 and AUC=0.95 on sevenfold full cross-validation).
The authors remarked how their results add new perspectives in the characterization of early non- invasive biomarkers capable of predicting asthma development.
Carraro S, Bozzetto S, Giordano G, et al. Wheezing preschool children with early‐onset asthma reveal a specific metabolomic profile. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2018;29:375–382.