Serum neurofilament light chain as outcome marker for intensive care unit patients.

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Neurofilament light chain (NfL) in serum indicates neuro-axonal damage in diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system. Reliable markers to enable early estimation of clinical outcome of intensive care unit (ICU) patients are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate, whether serum NfL levels are a possible biomarker for prediction of outcome of ICU patients.Thirty five patients were prospectively examined from admission to ICU until discharge from the hospital or death. NfL levels were measured longitudinally by a Simoa assay.NfL was elevated in all ICU patients and reached its maximum at day 35 of ICU treatment. Outcome determined by modified Rankin Scale at the end of the follow-up period correlated with NfL level at admission, especially in the group of patients with impairment of the central nervous system (n = 25, r = 0.56, p = 0.02).NfL could be used as a prognostic marker for outcome of ICU patients, especially in patients with impairment of the central nervous system.


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