Metabonomics is a new technology that provides rapid, accurate and precise analysis of a large number of metabolites in biological systems. Using multivariate analysis and pattern recognition, it provides a direct unbiased measure of biochemical consequences of pathology or drug treatment. The integration of the all ‘omics’ information (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabonomics) can provide knowledge for better understanding of biological systems and may lead to the generation of new mechanistic hypotheses to explain the development of pathologies. In this chapter, we will give an overview of the basic principles of this new technology and provide examples of applications in liver diseases.
Keywords: Metabonomics; Metabolic patterns; Spectroscopy; Principal component analysis; Liver failure; Hepatic encephalopathy.