The diagnosis and assessment of brain damage is currently based on the clinical examination and the modern neuro-imaging techniques. Electrophysiology, haemodynamic monitoring and invasive neuromonitoring constitute additional tools for monitoring of the brain function and clinical course of the patient. However, despite the substantial progress, clinical and neuro-monitoring methods are quite often not sufficient to evaluate and quantify the severity of the initial and secondary destructive processes and hence they cannot guide efficient therapeutic measures and prognosticate effectively the outcome. During the last decades, researchers and clinicians have focused on specific markers of brain cell damage to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of neurological insults. Lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, neuron specific enolase, have been proposed as potential markers of brain injury. More recently, other glial markers such as the Myelin Basic Protein, the glial fibrillary acidic protein and the S-100B protein have been measured in blood and used as surrogate biochemical markers for brain injury. This review summarizes published findings on the above brain specific serum biochemical markers with emphasis on those with clinical utility.
Keywords: Brain injury, neurotrauma, stroke, ischaemia, subarachnoid haemorrhage, tbi, brain tumours, brain biochemical markers