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S100: a potential marker of cerebral trauma


Head injuries are associated with a high level of morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to examine if S100, a calcium binding protein localised in astroglial cells of the central nervous system, can be used as a marker of head injury and to predict survival outcomes from severe head injury.


After informed consent and local ethics approval, 12 severe head injured patients (GCS ≤ 8) were included. All patients were treated according to standardised head injury protocols. Serial serum samples were taken over a period of 48 h together with various other physiologic measurements. Plasma concentrations of S100 were analysed using a radioimmunometric assay - Sangtec® S100 IMRA.


The mean S100 in patients who survived was 1.1 μg/l and in those who died 0.79 μg/l. Six of the 12 patients in the study died.


Plasma S100 concentrations increase in severe head injuries. The reference value is less than 0.2 μg/l and this was exceeded in both patients who survived and those who died. Serum S100 levels could not be correlated with mortality.

Table 1 Serum S100 (μ g/l) after severe head injury

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Simenacz, M., Vucevic, M. S100: a potential marker of cerebral trauma. Crit Care 3 (Suppl 1), P224 (2000).

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