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J Trauma. 2010 Jul;69(1):104-9. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181bbd485.

Serum glial fibrillary acidic protein is a highly specific biomarker for traumatic brain injury in humans compared with S-100B and neuron-specific enolase.

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Advanced Medical Emergency and Critical Care Center, Yamaguchi University Hospital, Yamaguchi, Japan.



Serum glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a specific predictor of brain damage and neurologic outcome in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this study, serum GFAP, S-100B, and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) were compared in the same samples from severe trauma patients to assess their ability to predict abnormalities detectable on head computed tomography (CT).


This study was a retrospective analysis at a single university emergency center. Thirty-four trauma patients were included. Serum samples were collected from the patients for 3 days. Serum GFAP, S-100B, and NSE concentrations were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and compared in patients with and without TBI, as evaluated by head CT.


Serum GFAP, S-100B, and NSE were significantly higher in the TBI patients than in the non-TBI patients (p < 0.05 for each protein). The receiver operating characteristic curves for TBI were compared for the three biomarkers for 3 days. Serum GFAP on day 1 had the largest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (0.983), with 88.9% sensitivity and 100% specificity.


Serum GFAP has remarkable diagnostic value for TBI, defined by abnormal head CT findings, in prehospital-triaged patients with severe trauma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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