Reliability of S100B in predicting severity of central nervous system injury

Neurocrit Care. 2007;6(2):121-38. doi: 10.1007/s12028-007-0008-x.


S100B is a protein biomarker that reflects CNS injury. It can be measured in the CSF or serum with readily available immunoassay kits. The excellent sensitivity of S100B has enabled it to confirm the existence of subtle brain injury in patients with mild head trauma, strokes, and after successful resuscitation from cardiopulmonary arrest. The extent of S100B elevation has been found to be useful in predicting clinical outcome after brain injury. Elevations of S100B above certain threshold levels might be able to reliably predict brain death or mortality. A normal S100B level reliably predicts the absence of significant CNS injury. The specificity of S100B levels as a reflection of CNS injury is compromised by the findings that extra-cranial injuries can lead to elevations in the absence of brain injury. This potential problem can most likely be avoided by measuring serial S100B levels along with other biomarkers and carefully noting peripheral injuries. Serum markers GFAP and NSE are both more specific for CNS injury and have little to no extra-cranial sources. Sustained elevations of S100B over 24 h along with elevations of GFAP and NSE can more reliably predict the extent of brain injury and clinical outcomes. In the future, S100B measurements might reliably predict secondary brain injury and enable physicians to initiate therapeutic interventions in a timelier manner. S100B levels have been shown to rise hours to days before changes in ICP, neurological examinations, and neuroimaging tests. S100B levels may also be used to monitor the efficacy of treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Brain Injuries / blood*
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain / blood
  • Nerve Growth Factors / blood*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100 Proteins / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100 Proteins
  • S100B protein, human