TROMBOLOME: The Tromsø study metabolome

Short overview:

The number of first acute myocardial infarction in the Norwegian population was in 2020 at 150 and 320 for women and men per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively. To further reduce acute myocardial infarction incidence and mortality, without increasing preventive treatment of patients not at risk, better stratification based on individual risk profiles is needed. The primary aim of this project is to identify characteristic phenotype changes for people that are at risk for myocardial infarction.

A blood sample contains massive amounts of biochemical data that reflects a person’s health state. These biochemical data are in this project measured with targeted and untargeted metabolomics.

Figure 1: Simplified overview of the metabolomics study TROMBOLOME. Blood samples of participants at-risk of myocardial infarction from the 7th Tromsø study are collected and injected into a liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (Orbitrap) instrument. The output of this data acquisition is aligned and calibrated before transition to a structured query language database where analysis of metabolic patterns and environmental influences can be undertaken in search of new insight. 

Project description:

TROMBOLOME, an acronym of the Tromsø study metabolome, is a case-cohort metabolomic study of myocardial infarction (MI) among at-risk individuals. The case group is individuals that has developed MI after collection of blood samples while the controls are individuals from the same cohort that has not developed MI. To gain new insight into pathology and potential risk factors involved the primary objective is to investigate metabolic changes in the participants. The secondary objective is to identify the exposome markers, which is the environmental influences that can be associated with MI.  The association of metabolites and exposome markers to pathology will be explored in a structured query language (SQL) database of the data acquired by liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) alongside relevant registry data. This database will make the project scalable to other studies and to new information.

Central to the project is the development and validation of a wide-scope, non-biased analytical methods for construction of a metabolome digital archive. This includes quality control of both data acquisition and transition to the digital archive along with construction an in-house library of metabolites to ensure confident identification and annotation of features detected in the blood samples.


Terje Vasskog (Principal investigator)
Torbjørn Norberg Myhre
Marie Mardal (Principal investigator)