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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Plasma metabonomics study on Chinese medicine syndrome evolution of heart failure rats caused by LAD ligation

Qi Qiu2, Chun Li1, Yong Wang3, Cheng Xiao4, Yu Li3, Yang Lin2* and Wei Wang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Modern Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China

2 Capital Medical University Beijing An Zhen Hospital, Beijing 100029, China

3 Basic Medical College, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China

4 China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing 100029, China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:232  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-232

Published: 9 July 2014



Chinese medicine syndromes (Zheng) in many disease models are not clearly characterized or validated, and the concepts of Chinese medicine syndromes are confounding and controversial. Metabonomics has been applied to the evaluation and classification of the Chinese medicine syndromes both in clinical and nonclinical studies. In this study, we aim to investigate the evolution of the Chinese medicine syndrome in myocardial infarction induced heart failure and to confirm the feasibility of the Zheng classification by plasma metabonomics in a syndrome and disease combination animal model.


The heart failure (HF) model was induced by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) in Sprague–Dawley rats. The rats were divided into the following two groups: the HF model group (LAD ligation) and the sham operated group. GC-MS was used with pattern recognition technology and principal component analysis (PCA) to analyze the plasma samples at 4, 21 and 45 day after operation.


It was determined that the period from 7 to 28 days was the stable time window of ischemic heart failure with qi deficiency and blood stasis syndrome (QDBS), and the qi deficiency syndrome occurred at 1 to 4 days and 45 to 60 days after operation. The results exhibited 5 plasma metabolite changes in the same trend at 4 and 21 day after the LAD operation, 7 at 21 and 45 day, and 2 at 4 and 45 day. No metabolite showed the same change at all of the 3 time points. At day 21 (the QDBS syndrome time point) after operation, 4 plasma metabolites showed the same trends with the results of our previous study on patients with the blood stasis syndrome.


The syndrome diagnosis is reliable in the HF rat model in this study. Plasma metabolites can provide a basis for the evaluation of Chinese medicine syndrome animal models.