Background: The pathophysiology of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome is unclear. An unbiased systems-based approach might help to illustrate the metabolite profiling and underlying pathophysiology.
Methods: Urine samples were collected from reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome patients and matched controls recruited in Taipei Veterans General Hospital. 1H-Nuclear magnetic resonance was used to initially explore the metabolic profile, and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry was then used to identify metabolic alterations in reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome. Untargeted metabolite screening was randomly performed on 10 reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome patients and 10 control subjects in the discovery phase. The selected untargeted metabolites were further validated on 47 reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome patients during their ictal stage (with 40 of them having remission samples) and 47 controls in the replication phase. Results and conclusion: Six metabolites-hippurate, citrate, 1,3,7-trimethyluric acid, ascorbic acid, D-glucurono-6,3-lactone, and D-threo-isocitric acid-with t-test derived p-value < 0.05 and VIP score >1, were identified as potential urine signatures that can well distinguish reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome subjects at ictal stage from controls. Among them, citrate, hippurate, ascorbic acid, and D-glucurono-6,3-lactone were significantly lower, and 1,3,7-trimethyluric acid and D-threo-isocitric acid were higher in reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome patients. Of these, four selected metabolites, citrate, D-glucurono-6,3-lactone, ascorbic acid, and 1,3,7-trimethyluric acid, returned to normal levels in remission. These metabolites are related to pathways associated with free radical scavenging, with the hub molecules being associated with endothelial dysfunction or sympathetic overactivity. Whether these metabolites and their implicated networks play a role in the pathogenesis of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome remains to be confirmed.


Wei-Hsiang Hsu, Shuu-Jiun Wang, Yen-Ming Chao, Chao-Jung Chen, Yen-Feng Wang, Jong-Ling Fuh, Shih-Pin Chen, Yun-Lian Lin


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