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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 895-903

Plasma free amino acid profile changes in hepatocellular carcinoma patients

1 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, National Liver Institute, Shebin El-kom, Egypt
2 Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Shebin El-kom, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Yasmin E El-Gendy
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, Yassin Abdel-Ghaffar Street, Shebin El-kom, Menoufia, 32511
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.202493

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Objective The aim of this study was to investigate plasma amino acid profile as a possible diagnostic/prognostic method in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Background Many previous reports have shown that metabolism is notably altered in cancer cells. Thus, various methods for cancer diagnosis and prognosis have been developed based on metabolite analysis. Among whole metabolites, amino acids were proposed as suitable candidates for focused metabolomics as they are either ingested or synthesized endogenously and they play an essential physiological role both as basic metabolites and metabolic regulators. Patients and methods This study included 71 hepatocellular carcinoma patients (60 male and 11 female) and 30 chronic hepatitis C virus patients (20 male and 10 female) in addition to 30 healthy controls (25 male and 5 female). Laboratory investigations including complete blood picture, liver function tests, serum α-fetoprotein, hepatitis viral markers (HBsAg and anti-HCVAb) were carried out for all participants. Amino acid assay was carried out using ultra performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry. Results The study showed a statistically significant increase in methionine, tyrosine, ornithine, citrulline, glycine, phenylalanine, alanine, glutamate, proline, and arginine and a decrease in valine, aspartate, leucine/isoleucine, branched tyrosine ratio (BTR), and Fischer's ratio in hepatocellular carcinoma compared with the control group. Moreover, the study indicated that there was a statistically significant correlation between BTR and platelets, alanine transaminase, albumin, bilirubin, and α-fetoprotein and significant differences in BTR among Child-Pugh A, B, and C. Conclusion Our results suggested that the plasma free amino acid profile is considered valuable for diagnosis and nutritional care in cancer patients. Furthermore, BTR reflects the pathological liver background with a high degree of correlation with other liver functional markers.

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