Biomarkers, which are unspecific by themselves, can be specific when when interpreted combined as a pattern. This means that a pattern of biomarkers has to be monitored for the specific determination of certain effects. Some of these combined biomarkers have a common mechanistic background, some patterns consist of biomarkers with different mechanistical backgrounds but the same target organ and some patterns are more or less rules of thumb. Examples of two patterns of metabolites in urine are:
Increased creatine and increased taurine indicate hepatocyte necrosis
Increased glucose and decreased creatinine indicate tubular nephrotoxicity
Several of these patterns are shown in this tutorial using a so-called competitive study. In addition it is shown, that an interpretation of metabolites associated with the gut microflora is only possible when interpretating the pattern of metabolites instead of interpreting each metabolite by itself.