Serum Biomarkers Help Predict Attention Problems in Critically Ill Children With Traumatic Brain Injury
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between acute serum biomarkers, and the changes in attention at 1 year following traumatic brain injury. DESIGN AND SETTING: A prospective observational and laboratory study conducted in PICUs at five Canadian children's hospitals. STUDY POPULATION AND MEASUREMENTS: Fifty-eight patients aged 5 to 17 years with traumatic brain injury were enrolled in the study. Nine brain-specific and inflammatory serum protein biomarkers were measured multiple times over the first week following injury. Attention was measured at "baseline" to represent pre-injury function and at 1 year following injury using the Conners Third Parent Rating Scale. RESULTS: Compared with baseline, there were significantly more clinical symptoms of inattention at 1 year post injury. The Glasgow Coma Scale score, age at injury, baseline levels of inattention, and highest levels of serum biomarkers were used to estimate the probability of developing inattention. These independent variables were first evaluated individually followed by combinations of the best predictors using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve analyses. A combination of high baseline levels of inattention and high serum levels of the biomarker neuron-specific enolase was the best predictor for inattention. Glasgow Coma Scale and age at injury were not associated with inattention at 1 year post injury. CONCLUSIONS: Combining baseline assessment of attention with measurement of serum biomarkers shows promise as reliable, early predictors of long-term attention after childhood traumatic brain injury.
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