Acute inflammatory biomarker profiles predict depression risk following moderate to severe traumatic brain injury

Shannon B. Juengst, Raj G. Kumar, Michelle D. Failla, Akash Goyal, Amy Kathleen Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine whether acute inflammation profiles predict posttraumatic depression (PTD) risk 6 and 12 months after traumatic brain injury. Setting: University-affiliated level 1 trauma center and community. Participants: Adults with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (acute serum levels: n = 50; acute cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels: n = 41). Design: Prospective cohort study. Main Measures: Patient Health Questionnaire; inflammatory biomarkers (interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, tumor necrosis factor α, soluble vascular adhesion molecule [sVCAM-1], soluble intracellular adhesion molecule [sICAM-1], soluble Fas [sFAS]). Results: Higher levels of acute CSF cytokine surface markers (sVCAM-1, sICAM-1, and sFAS) in an inflammatory biomarker risk (IBR) score were associated with a 3.920-fold increase in the odds of developing PTD at 6 months (95% confidence interval: 1.163-8.672). Having sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, or sFAS above the 75th percentile had a positive predictive value of 85.7% for PTD risk at 6 months. An IBR score including inflammatory biomarkers IL-7 and IL-8 showed a trending association with 12-month PTD risk (odds ratio = 3.166, 95% confidence interval: 0.936- 10.708). Conclusion: Acute CSF IBR scores show promise for identifying individuals at risk for PTD. Further research should assess acute CSF inflammatory biomarkers' relationships to chronic inflammation as a mechanism of PTD and should explore anti-inflammatory treatments for PTD, as well as prevention and screening protocols, and link inflammatory biomarkers to symptom tracking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Brain injury
  • Cytokines
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukins
  • Intracellular adhesion molecule-1
  • Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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