Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32786503
Link to DOI – 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c02815
Anal Chem 2020 Sep; 92(17): 12079-12087
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare and deadly disease affecting roughly 15-60 people per million in Europe with a poorly understood pathology. There are currently no diagnostic tools for early detection nor does a curative treatment exist. The lipid composition of arteries in lung tissue samples from human PAH and control patients were investigated using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) combined with time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) imaging. Using random forests as an IMS data analysis technique, it was possible to identify the ion at m/z 885.6 as a marker of PAH in human lung tissue. The m/z 885.6 ion intensity was shown to be significantly higher around diseased arteries and was confirmed to be a diacylglycerophosphoinositol PI(C18:0/C20:4) via MS/MS using a novel hybrid SIMS instrument. The discovery of a potential biomarker opens up new research avenues which may finally lead to a better understanding of the PAH pathology and highlights the vital role IMS can play in modern biomedical research.