Identification of Urine Metabolic Biomarkers for Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Disease

R. Chang, Y. Zhu, J. Xu, L. Chen, G.N. Su, A. Kijlstra, P.Z. Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The diagnosis of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) disease is mainly based on a complex clinical manifestation while it lacks objective laboratory biomarkers. To explore the potential molecular biomarkers for diagnosis and disease activity in VKH, we performed an untargeted urine metabolomics analysis by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography equipped with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-Q-TOF/MS). Through univariate and multivariate statistical analysis, we found 9 differential metabolites when comparing VKH patients with healthy controls, and 26 differential metabolites were identified when comparing active VKH patients with inactive VKH patients. Pathway enrichment analysis showed that glycine, serine and threonine metabolism, and arginine and proline metabolism were significantly altered in VKH versus healthy controls. Lysine degradation and biotin metabolism pathways were significantly altered in active VKH versus inactive VKH. Furthermore, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed that the combination of acetylglycine and gamma-glutamylalanine could differentiate VKH from healthy controls with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.808. A combination of ureidopropionic acid and 5 '-phosphoribosyl-5-amino-4-imidazolecarboxamide (AICAR) had an excellent AUC of 0.958 for distinguishing active VKH from inactive VKH. In summary, this study identified abnormal metabolites in urine of patients with VKH disease. Further studies are needed to confirm whether these metabolites are specific for this disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article number637489
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021


  • Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease
  • diagnosis
  • disease activity
  • metabolomics
  • urine biomarkers


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of Urine Metabolic Biomarkers for Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this