Validity of Serum miRNA 93 and miRNA 191 to Reduce Unnecessary Computed Tomography in Patients With Mild Head Trauma

Demet Tas, Onur Kaplan, Ozgur Sogut


Background: Indication for the appropriate use of cranial computed tomography (CCT) in patients with mild head trauma (MHT) based on history and physical examination alone remains unclear. Recent studies have been reported that 90% of patients with MHT who undergo CCT under the present clinical decision rules have no clinically important brain injuries. We aimed to investigate whether peripheral blood expression of microRNA 93 (miR93) and microRNA 191 (miR191) in patients with MHT can predict the presence or absence of intracranial injury, reducing the unnecessary use of CCT.

Methods: Fifty-nine consecutive adult patients with isolated MHT undergoing CCT based on the clinical decision guidelines of the New Orleans criteria and 91 age- and sex-matched controls were enrolled in this prospective observational cohort study. Patients were divided into two groups: those without or with traumatic intracerebral or extracerebral lesions identified by CCT. Patients were further divided into two subgroups based on the presence or absence of traumatic parenchymal lesions defined as traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Results: Mean serum miR93 and miR191 levels differed significantly between study groups. Of the 79 patients investigated, 16 exhibited trauma-relevant lesions on CCT scan (CCT+). With a cut-off limit of 0.15, miR191 had an area under the curve value of 0.765 (0.640 - 0.889), with sensitivity of 68.1% and specificity of 68.8% in CCT+ patients. Compared to MHT patients without TBI, mean serum miR191 levels were markedly elevated in patients with TBI. However, miR93 levels did not exhibit significant changes in either group.

Conclusions: Circulating miRNA levels increased after MHT and differentiated patients with and without intracranial or extracranial lesions demonstrable on CCT. Adding the measurement of serum miRNAs particularly miR191 to the clinical decision rules for a CCT scan in patients with MHI could allow a reduction in scans.

J Clin Med Res. 2020;12(9):579-589


miRNA93; miRNA191; Mild head trauma; Traumatic brain injury; Cranial computed tomography

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