Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is characterized by neuroinflammation and structural damage leading to symptoms and altered brain function. Biomarkers are useful in understanding neuroinflammation and correlations with TBI sequalae. The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss biomarkers of neuroinflammation used to study TBI and its sequalae. A systematic review was conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, and Web of Science. A total of 350 articles met criteria; 70 used biomarkers. PRISMA criteria were used for Quality Assessment. Articles included reviews (n = 17), case-control (n = 25), cross-sectional (n = 25) studies, and randomized controlled trials (n = 3). Twenty-seven biomarkers were identified, including inflammasomes, cytokines, neuropeptides, complement complexes, miRNA and exosomes, and glial cell-specific proteins. Biomarkers aid in predicting morbidity and mortality and advance our understanding of neuroinflammation in TBI. This systematic review advances our understanding of the neuroinflammatory response to better enable nurses and clinicians to provide informed care of TBI patients.
Keywords: advanced practice nurse; clinical research; methods; neurological conditions; nursing interventions; symptom science; systematic reviews; trauma.