Interlukein-6 as a Predictor for Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery

Guerrero, Alejandro R.
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability around the world, making it a major public health concern. The post-injury condition is marked by a complex, pathophysiological nature and wide-ranging physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms. We hope to explore the connection, if any, between interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels and patient recovery following a head injury in pediatric patients. Essentially, we predict that higher IL-6 levels would correspond with more unfavorable patient outcomes following injury, and this relationship would be found to be more robust in TBI participants. To forward this objective, we used serum IL-6 samples and three surveys completed at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months since the initial hospital visit. We compared these values to a set of pediatric orthopedic controls to isolate TBI-specific biomarker-outcome interactions. Thus far, our findings indicate that IL-6 levels are a poor predictor for patient post-injury outcome for TBI cases and a moderately good predictor in orthopedic controls. Yet, on average, participants who reported worse outcomes had higher IL-6 levels, even across both groups. These findings allow for us to understand how certain biomarkers, such as IL-6, may play a role in predicting TBI-specific recovery in pediatric patients.