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Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

For a paper in BMC Genomics, investigators at Harbin Medical University describe proteomic and metabolomic differences between blood samples from atrial fibrillation cases with or without heart failure. Using a combination of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomic and metabolomic profiling, the team tested blood plasma samples from 20 atrial fibrillation (AF) patients without heart failure and 20 patients with heart failure (AF-HF), identifying genes and metabolites that were found at enhanced or diminished levels in the atrial fibrillation cases with or without heart failure. From there, they tested a set of five differentially expressed proteins and five differentially expressed metabolites that showed promise as heart failure biomarkers in the atrial fibrillation patients. "Through proteomic and metabolomic analyses, we picked out different proteins and metabolites in AF compared to AF-HF samples, and found that compared to AF-HF, those without HF differed in metabolic profiling by a large margin," the authors write, adding that "different types of patients could be distinguished using these two techniques as efficient molecular markers."