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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 212-217

Phosphorylated neurofilament heavy: A potential blood biomarker to evaluate the severity of acute spinal cord injuries in adults

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Ajai Singh
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, King George's Medical University, Lucknow - 226 018, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCIIS.IJCIIS_73_16

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Aims: The aim of this study is to analyze the serial estimation of phosphorylated neurofilament heavy (pNF-H) in blood plasma that would act as a potential biomarker for early prediction of the neurological severity of acute spinal cord injuries (SCI) in adults. Settings and Design: Pilot study/observational study. Subjects and Methods: A total of 40 patients (28 cases and 12 controls) of spine injury were included in this study. In the enrolled cases, plasma level of pNF-H was evaluated in blood samples and neurological evaluation was performed by the American Spinal Injury Association Injury Scale at specified period. Serial plasma neurofilament heavy values were then correlated with the neurological status of these patients during follow-up visits and were analyzed statistically. Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad InStat software (version 3.05 for Windows, San Diego, CA, USA). The correlation analysis between the clinical progression and pNF-H expression was done using Spearman's correlation. Results: The mean baseline level of pNF-H in cases was 6.40 ± 2.49 ng/ml, whereas in controls it was 0.54 ± 0.27 ng/ml. On analyzing the association between the two by Mann–Whitney U–test, the difference in levels was found to be statistically significant. The association between the neurological progression and pNF-H expression was determined using correlation analysis (Spearman's correlation). At 95% confidence interval, the correlation coefficient was found to be 0.64, and the correlation was statistically significant. Conclusions: Plasma pNF-H levels were elevated in accordance with the severity of SCI. Therefore, pNF-H may be considered as a potential biomarker to determine early the severity of SCI in adult patients.

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