Objective There is enormous research and clinical interest in blood-based biomarkers
of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) sustained in sports, daily life, or military
service. We examined the reliability of a commercially available assay for S100B used
on the same samples by two different laboratories separated by 2 years in time. Methods
and Procedures A cohort of 163 adult patients (head CT-scanned, n = 110) with mild
head injury were enrolled from the emergency department (ED). All had Glasgow Coma
Scale scores of 14 or 15 in the ED (94.4% = 15). The mean time between injury and
venous blood sampling was 2.9 h (SD = 1.4; Range = 0.5-6.0 h). Serum S100B was measured
at two independent centers using the same high throughput clinical assay (Elecsys
S100B (R); Roche Diagnostics). Results The Spearman correlation between the two assays
in the total sample (N = 163) was r = 0.93. A Wilcoxson Signed Ranks test indicated
that the median scores for the values differed (Z = 2,082,p< .001, Cohen's d = 0.151,
small effect size). The values obtained from the two laboratories were very similar
for identifying traumatic intracranial abnormalities (sensitivity = 80.1% versus 85.7%).
Conclusions The serum S100B results measured using the same assay in different laboratories
yielded highly correlated and clinically similar, but clearly not identical, results.