Objective To investigate whether sports-related concussion is associated with elevated blood biomarkers reflecting axonal injury (total-tau [T-tau], [tau-A] and [tau-C]) and astroglial injury (S100B), as well as neurons-specific enolase (NSE).
Design and setting A multicenter prospective cohort study involving all 12 teams of the top professional ice hockey league in Sweden.
Participants A total of 288 players consented to participate in the study. Thirty-five players sustained concussions, of whom 28 underwent repeated blood samplings at 1, 12, 36, and 144 hours after the trauma, or when the player returned to play (7->90 days).
Outcome measures Concentrations of T-tau was, tau-A, tau-C, S100B and NSE in blood.
Results Players with sports-related concussion had increased levels of the axonal injury biomarker T-tau compared to preseason values. The highest biomarker concentrations of T-tau were measured immediately after a concussion and decreased during rehabilitation. There was no significant increase in the levels of tau-A in post-concussion samples compared with preseason values. However, serum levels of tau-C were significantly higher in post-concussion samples compared with preseason. The levels of the astroglial injury biomarker S100B were also increased in players with sports-related concussion compared to preseason values. No significant changes were measured in the levels of NSE.
Conclusions Sports-related concussion in professional ice hockey players is associated with acute axonal and injury. Plasma T-tau may be used both in the diagnosis and clinical decision-making when an athlete is declared fit to return to play.
Competing interests None.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.