Drug Discov Ther. 2020;14(4):187-196. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2020.03062)

Diagnosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma by 1H NMR spectroscopybased metabolomic analysis of whole blood

Wang TT, Sun ZG, Wang Y, Li FF, Zhou XM, Tian XS, Wang SQ


The incidence rate of thyroid carcinoma, especially papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), has increased significantly over time. As a primary pathway for metastasis, the lymphatic system is an important prognostic factor for PTC patients. Although the metabolic changes in PTC patients have been investigated in extensive studies, few studies focused on the whole blood metabolic profiling of PTC patients. In this study, we investigated the 1H NMR-based metabolic profiles of whole blood samples that were obtained from healthy individuals and PTC patients, with or without lymph node metastasis. The estimation of the predictive potential of metabolites was evaluated using multivariate statistical analyses, which revealed that the whole blood carries information that is sufficient for distinguishing between PTC patients and healthy individuals. However, PTC patients were not well classified as positive or negative according to the lymph nodes. We did not find a metabolite that could discriminate the presence of lymph node metastasis. Further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to elucidate significant metabolites to indicate the presence of lymph node metastasis in patients with PTC.

KEYWORDS: Thyroid, 1H NMR spectroscopy, metabolomics, lymph node metastasis, papillary thyroid carcinoma

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