Application of metabolomics in pediatric asthma: Prediction, diagnosis and personalized treatment
journal contributionposted on 28.06.2021, 03:20 by Maria Papamichael, C Katsardis, E Sarandi, S Georgaki, ES Frima, A Varvarigou, D Tsoukalas
Asthma in children remains a significant public health challenge affecting 5–20% of children in Europe and is associated with increased morbidity and societal healthcare costs. The high varia-tion in asthma incidence among countries may be attributed to differences in genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. This respiratory disorder is described as a heterogeneous syndrome of multiple clinical manifestations (phenotypes) with varying degrees of severity and airway hyper-responsiveness, which is based on patient symptoms, lung function and response to pharmacotherapy. However, an accurate diagnosis is often difficult due to diversities in clinical presentation. Therefore, identifying early diagnostic biomarkers and improving the monitoring of airway dysfunction and inflammatory through non-invasive methods are key goals in successful pediatric asthma manage-ment. Given that asthma is caused by the interaction between genes and environmental factors, an emerging approach, metabolomics—the systematic analysis of small molecules—can provide more insight into asthma pathophysiological mechanisms, enable the identification of early biomarkers and targeted personalized therapies, thus reducing disease burden and societal cost. The purpose of this review is to present evidence on the utility of metabolomics in pediatric asthma through the analysis of intermediate metabolites of biochemical pathways that involve carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids, organic acids and nucleotides and discuss their potential application in clinical practice. Also, current challenges on the integration of metabolomics in pediatric asthma management and needed next steps are critically discussed.