Plasma levels of the beta chemokine regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed, and secreted (RANTES) correlate with severe brain injury

Kimberly Lumpkins, Grant V. Bochicchio, Bradley Zagol, Kristian Ulloa, J. Marc Simard, Stacey Schaub, Walter Meyer, Thomas Scalea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The expression of the beta chemokine RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed, and secreted) has previously been shown to be elevated after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in animal models, but it was unknown whether the plasma level of RANTES was predictive of TBI in critically injured trauma patients. METHODS: A prospective study was conducted on 108 critically ill trauma patients. Patients were stratified by radiologic diagnosis of TBI. Severe TBI was classified as the presence of diffuse axonal injury, midline shift, or herniation based on admission head computed tomography findings. Serum levels were evaluated at admission and hospital day 7. RANTES was measured using Luminex multiplex assays. RESULTS: Fifty-four patients with and without TBI were compared. Severe TBI was diagnosed in 23 of the 54 TBI patients (43%) and mild/moderate TBI was found in 31 (57%) patients. The mean age of the study population was 43 ± 20 years with a mean Injury Severity Score of 29 ± 14. There was no significant difference between groups in age, sex, and Injury Severity Score. At admission, RANTES was significantly higher in patients with severe brain injury than in non-TBI patients (mean 1,339 pg/mL vs. 708 pg/mL, p = 0.046), and there was a trend toward significance when comparing patients with severe versus mild/moderate brain injury (mean 1,339 pg/mL vs. 752 pg/mL, p = 0.069). There was no statistically significant difference on day 7. CONCLUSIONS: RANTES was a significant early marker of severe TBI in critically injured trauma patients, consistent with animal models. Future research on the role of RANTES in the pathogenesis of human TBI is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-361
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokine
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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