Publication Date



Neurocritical Care


BACKGROUND: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) leads to a robust systemic inflammatory response. We hypothesized that an early systemic glycolytic shift occurs after aSAH, resulting in a unique metabolic signature and affecting systemic inflammation.

METHODS: Control patients and patients with aSAH were analyzed. Samples from patients with aSAH were collected within 24 h of aneurysmal rupture. Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics was performed to assess relative abundance of 16 metabolites involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, glycolysis, and pentose phosphate pathway. Principal component analysis was used to segregate control patients from patients with aSAH. Dendrograms were developed to depict correlations between metabolites and cytokines. Analytic models predicting functional outcomes were developed, and receiver operating curves were compared.

RESULTS: A total of 122 patients with aSAH and 38 control patients were included. Patients with aSAH had higher levels of glycolytic metabolites (3-phosphoglycerate/2-phosphoglycerate, lactate) but lower levels of oxidative metabolites (succinate, malate, fumarate, and oxalate). Patients with higher clinical severity (Hunt-Hess Scale score ≥ 4) had higher levels of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate and citrate but lower levels of α-ketoglutarate and glutamine. Principal component analysis readily segregated control patients from patients with aSAH. Correlation analysis revealed distinct clusters in control patients that were not observed in patients with aSAH. Higher levels of fumarate were associated with good functional outcomes at discharge (odds ratio [OR] 1.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.15-2.82) in multivariable models, whereas higher levels of citrate were associated with poor functional outcomes at discharge (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.16-0.73) and at 3 months (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.14-0.81). No associations were found with delayed cerebral ischemia. Levels of α-ketoglutarate and glutamine correlated with lower levels of interleukin-8, whereas fumarate was associated with lower levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha.

CONCLUSIONS: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage results in a unique pattern of plasma metabolites, indicating a shift toward glycolysis. Higher levels of fumarate and lower levels of citrate were associated with better functional outcomes. These metabolites may represent targets to improve metabolism after aSAH.


Humans, Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Glutamine, Ketoglutaric Acids, Glycolysis, Fumarates, Citrates



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