Serum S-100B concentration provides additional information fot the indication of computed tomography in patients after minor head injury: a prospective multicenter study.
Ninety percent of patients with minor head injury (MHI) who have cranial computed tomography (CCT) under the present clinical decision rules have normal scans. Serum concentrations of the astroglial protein S-100B were recently found to provide useful information, but these studies were too small to provide a statistically safe basis for changing the present rule. We have investigated whether S-100B concentrations in patients with MHI can provide additional information to improve indication of the need for an initial CCT scan. One thousand three hundred nine patients with MHI were enrolled in this prospective, multicenter study. All had a CCT scan to confirm diagnosis in accordance with the present clinical decision rules. S-100B was measured in serum samples obtained upon admission. Data were analyzed using contingency table and receiver operating characteristic curve and compared with those for healthy donors (n = 540) and with those for patients with moderate to severe head injury (n = 55). Of the 1309 patients studied, 93 exhibited trauma-relevant intracerebral lesions on the CCT scan (CCT+). With a cutoff limit of 0.10-microg/L S-100B (95th percentile of values in healthy volunteers), CCT+ patients were identified with a sensitivity level of 99% (95% confidence interval, 96% - 100%) and a specificity level of 30% (95% confidence interval, 29% - 31%). Adding the measurement of S-100B concentration to the clinical decision rules for a CCT scan in patients with MHI could allow a 30% reduction in scans. A prospective study of the clinical value of S-100B measurement in such patients is now under way.