Publications & Posters

Traumatic brain injury biomarkers in pediatric patients: a systematic review

Neurosurgical Review | June 25, 2021

Marzano LAS, Batista JPT, de Abreu Arruda M, de Freitas Cardoso MG, de Barros J, Moreira JM, Liu PMF, Teixeira AL, Simões ESAC and de Miranda AS

Neurosurg Rev. 2021



Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the main cause of pediatric trauma death and disability worldwide. Recent studies have sought to identify biomarkers of TBI for the purpose of assessing functional outcomes. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the utility of TBI biomarkers in the pediatric population by summarizing recent findings in the medical literature. A total of 303 articles were retrieved from our search. An initial screening to remove duplicate studies yielded 162 articles. After excluding all articles that did not meet the inclusion criteria, 56 studies were gathered. Among the 56 studies, 36 analyzed serum biomarkers; 11, neuroimaging biomarkers; and 9, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers. Most studies assessed biomarkers in the serum, reflecting the feasibility of obtaining blood samples compared to obtaining CSF or performing neuroimaging. S100B was the most studied serum biomarker in TBI, followed by SNE and UCH-L1, whereas in CSF analysis, there was no unanimity. Among the different neuroimaging techniques employed, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was the most common, seemingly holding diagnostic power in the pediatric TBI clinical setting. The number of cross-sectional studies was similar to the number of longitudinal studies. Our data suggest that S100B measurement has high sensitivity and great promise in diagnosing pediatric TBI, ideally when associated with head CT examination and clinical decision protocols. Further large-scale longitudinal studies addressing TBI biomarkers in children are required to establish more accurate diagnostic protocols and prognostic tools.