Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) Outperforms S100 Calcium-Binding Protein B (S100B) and Ubiquitin C-Terminal Hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) as Predictor for Positive Computed Tomography of the Head in Trauma Subjects

World Neurosurg. 2019 Aug;128:e434-e444. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.04.170. Epub 2019 May 1.

Abstract

Objective: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are largely underdiagnosed and may have persistent refractory consequences. Current assessments for acute TBI are limited to physical examination and imaging. Biomarkers such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1), and S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B) have shown predictive value as indicators of TBI and potential screening tools.

Methods: In total, 37 controls and 118 unique trauma subjects who received a clinically ordered head computed tomography (CT) in the emergency department of a level 1 trauma center were evaluated. Blood samples collected at 0-8 hours (initial) and 12-32 hours (delayed) postinjury were analyzed for GFAP, UCH-L1, and S100B concentrations. These were then compared in CT-negative and CT-positive subjects.

Results: Median GFAP, UCH-L1, and S100B concentrations were greater in CT-positive subjects at both timepoints compared with CT-negative subjects. In addition, median UCH-L1 and S100B concentrations were lower at the delayed timepoint, whereas median GFAP concentrations were increased. As predictors of a positive CT of the head, GFAP outperformed UCH-L1 and S100B at both timepoints (initial: 0.89 sensitivity, 0.62 specificity; delayed: 0.94 sensitivity, 0.67 specificity). GFAP alone also outperformed all possible combinations of biomarkers.

Conclusions: GFAP, UCH-L1, and S100B demonstrated utility for rapid prediction of a CT-positive TBI within 0-8 hours of injury. GFAP exhibited the greatest predictive power at 12-32 hours. Furthermore, these results suggest that GFAP alone has greater utility for predicting a positive CT of the head than UCH-L1, S100B, or any combination of the 3.

Keywords: Calcium-binding protein B (S100β); Computed tomography (CT); Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP); S100 ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase isozyme L1 (UCHL1); Traumatic brain injury (TBI).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / blood
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit / blood*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase / blood*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • GFAP protein, human
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100B protein, human
  • UCHL1 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase