Pre- versus post-operative untargeted plasma nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy metabolomics of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma

Nikolaos G. Bliziotis*, Leo A.J. Kluijtmans, Sebastian Soto, Gerjen H. Tinnevelt, Katharina Langton, Mercedes Robledo, Christina Pamporaki, Udo F.H. Engelke, Zoran Erlic, Jasper Engel, Timo Deutschbein, Svenja Nölting, Aleksander Prejbisz, Susan Richter, Cornelia Prehn, Jerzy Adamski, Andrzej Januszewicz, Martin Reincke, Martin Fassnacht, Graeme EisenhoferFelix Beuschlein, Matthias Kroiss, Ron A. Wevers, Jeroen J. Jansen, Jaap Deinum, Henri J.L.M. Timmers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas (PPGL) result in chronic catecholamine excess and serious health complications. A recent study obtained a metabolic signature in plasma from PPGL patients; however, its targeted nature may have generated an incomplete picture and a broader approach could provide additional insights. We aimed to characterize the plasma metabolome of PPGL patients before and after surgery, using an untargeted approach, and to broaden the scope of the investigated metabolic impact of these tumors. Design: A cohort of 36 PPGL patients was investigated. Blood plasma samples were collected before and after surgical tumor removal, in association with clinical and tumor characteristics. Methods: Plasma samples were analyzed using untargeted nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy metabolomics. The data were evaluated using a combination of uni- and multi-variate statistical methods. Results: Before surgery, patients with a nonadrenergic tumor could be distinguished from those with an adrenergic tumor based on their metabolic profiles. Tyrosine levels were significantly higher in patients with high compared to those with low BMI. Comparing subgroups of pre-operative samples with their post-operative counterparts, we found a metabolic signature that included ketone bodies, glucose, organic acids, methanol, dimethyl sulfone and amino acids. Three signals with unclear identities were found to be affected. Conclusions: Our study suggests that the pathways of glucose and ketone body homeostasis are affected in PPGL patients. BMI-related metabolite levels were also found to be altered, potentially linking muscle atrophy to PPGL. At baseline, patient metabolomes could be discriminated based on their catecholamine phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-265
Issue number1
Early online date18 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Metabolomics
  • NMR
  • Operation
  • Paired
  • Plasma
  • PPGL


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