Publications & Posters

Neurofilament Light: a Potential Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarker in Obstetric Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome

Molecular Neurobiology | September 22, 2021

Fang X, Liang Y, Zhang W, Wang Q, Chen J, Chen J, Lin Y, Chen Y, Yu L, Wang H and Chen D

Molecular neurobiology. 2021


Obstetric posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES), caused by preeclampsia (PE) or eclampsia, is a clinical imaging syndrome and a critical maternal complication, with vasogenic edema in white matter as a typical imaging characteristic. Serum neurofilament light (NFL) is a marker of neuroaxonal injury. Therefore, we performed this study to explore the diagnostic and prognostic role of NFL in obstetric PRES. We used stored serum samples and clinical data obtained from 2148 PE or eclampsia patients from the Guangzhou Medical Centre for Critical Pregnant Women from January 2015 to January 2020. The serum NFL concentration was measured by Simoa assay. Patients without complete data and MRI examinations were excluded. All patients were grouped into the PRES and non-PRES groups based on the PRES diagnostic criteria. In total, 222 patients met the inclusion criteria and were grouped into the PRES (n = 123) and non-PRES (n = 99) groups. The NFL level was significantly higher in the PRES group than in the non-PRES group (p < 0.0001). The discriminatory accuracy of diagnostic panels (headaches + NFL, NFL) in receiver operating characteristic curve analysis (area under the curve) was 0.9338 and 0.7664. Importantly, the NFL level was significantly correlated with edema severity (Spearman’s correlation, p < 0.0001), and a poorer pregnancy outcome was observed in the PRES group. In conclusion, an increased NFL level can add predictive value for diagnosing obstetric PRES, and its level is associated with both clinical severity and pregnancy outcome, suggesting that NFL could serve as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for obstetric PRES.