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Amol Raheja, Sumit Sinha, Neha Samson, Sanjeev Bhoi, Arulselvi Subramanian, Pushpa Sharma and Bhawani Shankar Sharma

OBJECTIVE

There has been increased interest in the potential importance of biochemical parameters as predictors of outcome in severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI).

METHODS

Of 107 patients with sTBI (age 18–65 years with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 4–8 presenting within 8 hours after injury) who were randomized for a placebo-controlled Phase II trial of progesterone with or without hypothermia, the authors serially analyzed serum biomarkers (S100-B, glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP], neuron-specific enolase [NSE], tumor necrosis factor–α, interleukin-6 [IL-6], estrogen [Eg], and progesterone [Pg]). This analysis was performed using the sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique at admission and 7 days later for 86 patients, irrespective of assigned group. The long-term predictive values of serum biomarkers for dichotomized Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score, functional independence measure, and survival status at 6 and 12 months were analyzed using an adjusted binary logistic regression model and receiver operating characteristic curve.

RESULTS

A favorable GOS score (4–5) at 1 year was predicted by higher admission IL-6 (above 108.36 pg/ml; area under the curve [AUC] 0.69, sensitivity 52%, and specificity 78.6%) and Day 7 Pg levels (above 3.15 ng/ml; AUC 0.79, sensitivity 70%, and specificity 92.9%). An unfavorable GOS score (1–3) at 1 year was predicted by higher Day 7 GFAP levels (above 9.50 ng/ml; AUC 0.82, sensitivity 78.6%, and specificity 82.4%). Survivors at 1 year had significantly higher Day 7 Pg levels (above 3.15 ng/ml; AUC 0.78, sensitivity 66.7%, and specificity 90.9%). Nonsurvivors at 1 year had significantly higher Day 7 GFAP serum levels (above 11.14 ng/ml; AUC 0.81, sensitivity 81.8%, and specificity 88.9%) and Day 7 IL-6 serum levels (above 71.26 pg/ml; AUC 0.87, sensitivity 81.8%, and specificity 87%). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, independent predictors of outcome at 1 year were serum levels of Day 7 Pg (favorable GOS—OR 3.24, CI 1.5–7, p = 0.003; and favorable survival—OR 2, CI 1.2–3.5, p = 0.01); admission IL-6 (favorable GOS—OR 1.04, CI 1.00–1.08, p = 0.04); and Day 7 GFAP (unfavorable GOS—OR 0.79, CI 0.65–0.95, p = 0.01; and unfavorable survival—OR 0.80, CI 0.66–0.96, p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Serial Pg, GFAP, and IL-6 monitoring could aid in prognosticating outcomes in patients with acute sTBI. A cause and effect relationship or a mere association of these biomarkers to outcome needs to be further studied for better understanding of the pathophysiology of sTBI and for choosing potential therapeutic targets.

Clinical trial registration no.: CTRI/2009/091/000893 (http://www.ctri.nic.in).