Blood biomarkers in paediatric mild traumatic brain injury: a systematic review

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To summarize all current studies focusing on blood biomarkers in paediatric mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and to outline the possible use of blood biomarkers for diagnostic, prognostic and monitoring purposes within this setting.


A systematic review following the PRISMA guidelines was conducted using the MEDLINE, PubMed and EMBASE databases.


A total of 21 studies were included in the review, encompassing a total of 14 different biomarkers. Seventeen (81%) of these studies found a significant association between biomarker concentration and mTBI characteristics, however results from studies to date are diverse and at times conflicting.


GFAP appears to be a promising blood biomarker for the prognosis and monitoring of mTBI, whereas UCH-L1 appears more promising at mTBI diagnosis. Despite this, the overall heterogeneity in assessed biomarkers, study design and measurement tools has made drawing specific conclusions challenging. Future research will require more uniform study design and methodological approaches to allow for the comparison, corroboration and validation of blood biomarkers within the context of paediatric mTBI.

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