Lipidomics detection of brain cardiolipins in plasma is associated with outcome after cardiac arrest

Tamil S. Anthonymuthu, Elizabeth M. Kenny, Andrew M. Lamade, Hitesh Gidwani, Nicholas M. Krehel, Amalea Misse, Xiaotian Gao, Andrew A. Amoscato, Adam C. Straub, Valerian E. Kagan, Cameron Dezfulian, Hülya Bayır

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Brain mitochondrial dysfunction limits neurologic recovery after cardiac arrest. Brain polyunsaturated cardiolipins, mitochondria-unique and functionally essential phospholipids, have unprecedented diversification. Since brain cardiolipins are not present in plasma normally, we hypothesized their appearance would correlate with brain injury severity early after cardiac arrest and return of spontaneous circulation. Design: Observational case-control study. Setting: Two medical centers within one city. Participants (Subjects): We enrolled 41 adult cardiac arrest patients in whom blood could be obtained within 6 hours of resuscitation. Two subjects were excluded following outlier analysis. Ten healthy subjects were controls. Sprague-Dawley rats were used in asphyxial cardiac arrest studies. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: We developed a high-resolution liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method and determined cardiolipins speciation in human brain, heart, and plasma within 6 hours of (return of spontaneous circulation) from 39 patients with cardiac arrest, 5 with myocardial infarction, and 10 healthy controls. Cerebral score was derived from brain-specific cardiolipins identified in plasma of patients with varying neurologic injury and outcome. Using a rat model of cardiac arrest, cardiolipins were quantified in plasma, brain, and heart. Human brain exhibited a highly diverse cardiolipinome compared with heart that allowed the identification of brain-specific cardiolipins. Nine of 26 brain-specific cardiolipins were detected in plasma and correlated with brain injury. The cerebral score correlated with early neurologic injury and predicted discharge neurologic/functional outcome. Cardiolipin (70:5) emerged as a potential point-of-care marker predicting injury severity and outcome. In rat cardiac arrest, a significant reduction in hippocampal cardiolipins corresponded to their release from the brain into systemic circulation. Cerebral score was significantly increased in 10 minutes versus 5 minutes no-flow cardiac arrest and naïve controls. Conclusions: Brain-specific cardiolipins accumulate in plasma early after return of spontaneous circulation and proportional to neurologic injury representing a promising novel biomarker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E292-E300
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Global ischemia-reperfusion
  • Lipidomics
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Plasma cardiolipin
  • Prognostic biomarker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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