Early measurement of interleukin-10 predicts the absence of CT scan lesions in mild traumatic brain injury

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© 2018 Lagerstedt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Traumatic brain injury is a common event where 70%–90% will be classified as mild TBI (mTBI). Among these, only 10% will have a brain lesion visible via CT scan. A triage biomarker would help clinicians to identify patients with mTBI who are at risk of developing a brain lesion and require a CT scan. The brain cells damaged by the shearing, tearing and stretching of a TBI event set off inflammation cascades. These cause altered concentrations of a high number of both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory proteins. This study aimed to discover a novel diagnostic biomarker of mTBI by investigating a broad panel of inflammation biomarkers and their capacity to correctly identify CT-positive and CT-negative patients. Patients enrolled in this study had been diagnosed with mTBI, had a GCS score of 15 and suffered from at least one clinical symptom. There were nine patients in the discovery group, 45 for verification, and 133 mTBI patients from two different European sites in the validation cohort. All patients gave blood samples, underwent a CT scan and were dichoto-mised into CT-positive and CT-negative groups for statistical analyses. The ability of each protein to classify patients was evaluated with sensitivity set at 100%. Three of the 92 inflammation proteins screened—MCP-1, MIP-1alpha and IL-10 –were further investigated in the verification group, and at 100% sensitivity their specificities reached 7%, 0% and 31%, respectively. IL-10 was validated on a larger cohort in comparison to the most studied mTBI diagnostic triage protein to date, S100B. Levels of both proteins were significantly higher in CT-positive than in CT-negative patients (p < 0.001). S100B’s specificity at 100% sensitivity was 18% (95% CI 10.8–25.2), whereas IL-10 reached a specificity of 27% (95% CI 18.9–35.1). These results showed that IL-10 might be an interesting and clinically useful diagnostic tool, capable of differentiating between CT-positive and CT-negative mTBI patients.




Lagerstedt, L., Egea-Guerrero, J. J., Rodríguez-Rodríguez, A., Bustamante, A., Montaner, J., Rahal, A. E., … Sanchez, J. C. (2018). Early measurement of interleukin-10 predicts the absence of CT scan lesions in mild traumatic brain injury. PLoS ONE, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193278

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