Biomarkers for the clinical differential diagnosis in traumatic brain injury-A systematic review

Shoji Yokobori, Khadil Hosein, Stephen Burks, Ishna Sharma, Shyam Gajavelli, Ross Bullock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Rapid triage and decision-making in the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) present challenging dilemma in "resource poor" environments such as the battlefield and developing areas of the world. There is an urgent need for additional tools to guide treatment of TBI. The aim of this review is to establish the possible use of diagnostic TBI biomarkers in (1) identifying diffuse and focal brain injury and (2) assess their potential for determining outcome, intracranial pressure (ICP), and responses to therapy. At present, there is insufficient literature to support a role for diagnostic biomarkers in distinguishing focal and diffuse injury or for accurate determination of raised ICP. Presently, neurofilament (NF), S100β, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and ubiquitin carboxyl terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCH-L1) seemed to have the best potential as diagnostic biomarkers for distinguishing focal and diffuse injury, whereas C-tau, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), S100β, GFAP, and spectrin breakdown products (SBDPs) appear to be candidates for ICP reflective biomarkers. With the combinations of different pathophysiology related to each biomarker, a multibiomarker analysis seems to be effective and would likely increase diagnostic accuracy. There is limited research focusing on the differential diagnostic properties of biomarkers in TBI. This fact warrants the need for greater efforts to innovate sensitive and reliable biomarkers. We advocate awareness and inclusion of the differentiation of injury type and ICP elevation in further studies with brain injury biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-565
Number of pages10
JournalCNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Pathophysiology
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomarkers for the clinical differential diagnosis in traumatic brain injury-A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this