Interleukin 10 and Heart Fatty Acid-Binding Protein as Early Outcome Predictors in Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury

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Background: Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) exhibit a variable and unpredictable outcome. The proteins interleukin 10 (IL-10) and heart fatty acid-binding protein (H-FABP) have shown predictive values for the presence of intracranial lesions.

Aim: To evaluate the individual and combined outcome prediction ability of IL-10 and H-FABP, and to compare them to the more studied proteins S100β, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and neurofilament light (NF-L), both with and without clinical predictors.

Methods: Blood samples from patients with acute TBI (all severities) were collected <24 h post trauma. The outcome was measured >6 months post injury using the Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended (GOSE) score, dichotomizing patients into: (i) those with favorable (GOSE≥5)/unfavorable outcome (GOSE ≤ 4) and complete (GOSE = 8)/incomplete (GOSE ≤ 7) recovery, and (ii) patients with mild TBI (mTBI) and patients with TBIs of all severities.

Results: When sensitivity was set at 95–100%, the proteins’ individual specificities remained low. H-FABP showed the best specificity (%) and sensitivity (100%) in predicting complete recovery in patients with mTBI. IL-10 had the best specificity (50%) and sensitivity (96%) in identifying patients with favorable outcome in patients with TBIs of all severities. When individual proteins were combined with clinical parameters, a model including H-FABP, NF-L, and ISS yielded a specificity of 56% and a sensitivity of 96% in predicting complete recovery in patients with mTBI. In predicting favorable outcome, a model consisting IL-10, age, and TBI severity reached a specificity of 80% and a sensitivity of 96% in patients with TBIs of all severities.

Conclusion: Combining novel TBI biomarkers H-FABP and IL-10 with GFAP, NF-L and S100β and clinical parameters improves outcome prediction models in TBI.

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