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Research Article

Radioimmunoassay of serum creatine kinase BB as index of brain damage after head injury.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 20 September 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:777
  1. J P Phillips,
  2. H M Jones,
  3. R Hitchcock,
  4. N Adama,
  5. R J Thompson


    Brain-type creatine kinase isoenzymes (CK-BB) was measured by radioimmunoassay in the serum of 54 patients with head injuries. CK-BB was not detectable in 476 out of 1006 controls, the remaining 530 normal samples containing a mean of 1.5 +/- SD0.75 microgram/l. The mean CK-BB concentrations in patients with mild, moderate, and fatal head injuries were all significantly higher than the control value (p < 0.01 in each instance). Patients with serious head injury had serum concentrations many times the normal value, in two cases within 30 minutes after impact. Fatally injured patients continued to have high serum concentrations several days after injury. In less serious cases values approached normal within two or three days. Every patient with evidence of cerebral laceration, bruising, or swelling had a serum CK-BB concentration above normal. Raised concentrations were found in 14 out of 22 patients with concussion only. The serum CK-BB concentration appears to be a sensitive index of brain damage and may prove useful in the management and follow-up of head-injured patients.