Head injury outcome prediction: A role for protein S-100B?

Will Townend*, Tor Ingebrigtsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Prediction of the likely outcome of head injury from the outset would allow early rehabilitation to be targeted at those with most to gain. Clinical evaluation of a head injured patient may be confounded by intoxicants such as alcohol. Imaging modalities are insensitive (CT) or impractical (MR) for screening populations of such patients. A peripheral marker that reflected the extent of brain injury might offer an objective indication of likely adverse sequelae. This review evaluates the evidence for Protein S-100B as such a marker. Methods: A search of published literature revealed 18 studies designed to evaluate the relation between serum S-100B and measures of outcome after head injury. Results: A cut-off point of 2.5 μg/L is related to dependent disability in those presenting with low conscious level, and may be a specific test for this. There appears to be a relation between initial serum S-100B concentration and measures of disability as well as post-concussion symptoms for those with seemingly mild injuries. There does not appear to be a relation between S-100B and measures of neuropsychological performance. Conclusion: Patients with high levels of S-100B at initial assessment (>2.5 μg/L) may represent a high risk group for disability after head trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1098-1108
Number of pages11
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarker
  • Craniocerebral trauma
  • Diagnostic studies
  • Disability
  • Neuropsychological
  • Outcome
  • Review
  • S-100B
  • Sensitivity
  • Serum


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