Sulfonylurea Receptor-1: A Novel Biomarker for Cerebral Edema in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Ruchira M. Jha, Ava M. Puccio, Sherry Hsiang Yi Chou, Chung Chou H. Chang, Jessica S. Wallisch, Bradley J. Molyneaux, Benjamin E. Zusman, Lori A. Shutter, Samuel M. Poloyac, Keri L. Janesko-Feldman, David O. Okonkwo, Patrick M. Kochanek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objectives: Cerebral edema is a key poor prognosticator in traumatic brain injury. There are no biomarkers identifying patients at-risk, or guiding mechanistically-precise therapies. Sulfonylurea receptor-1-transient receptor potential cation channel M4 is upregulated only after brain injury, causing edema in animal studies. We hypothesized that sulfonylurea receptor-1 is measurable in human cerebrospinal fluid after severe traumatic brain injury and is an informative biomarker of edema and outcome. Design: A total of 119 cerebrospinal fluid samples were collected from 28 severe traumatic brain injury patients. Samples were retrieved at 12, 24, 48, 72 hours and before external ventricular drain removal. Fifteen control samples were obtained from patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus. Sulfonylurea receptor- 1 was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Outcomes included CT edema, intracranial pressure measurements, therapies targeting edema, and 3-month Glasgow Outcome Scale score. Main Results: Sulfonylurea receptor-1 was present in all severe traumatic brain injury patients (mean = 3.54 ± 3.39 ng/mL, peak = 7.13 ± 6.09 ng/mL) but undetectable in all controls (p < 0.001). Mean and peak sulfonylurea receptor-1 was higher in patients with CT edema (4.96 ± 1.13 ng/mL vs 2.10 ± 0.34 ng/mL; p = 0.023). There was a temporal delay between peak sulfonylurea receptor-1 and peak intracranial pressure in 91.7% of patients with intracranial hypertension. There was no association between mean/peak sulfonylurea receptor-1 and mean/peak intracranial pressure, proportion of intracranial pressure greater than 20 mm Hg, use of edema-directed therapies, decompressive craniotomy, or 3-month Glasgow Outcome Scale. However, decreasing sulfonylurea receptor-1 trajectories between 48 and 72 hours were significantly associated with improved cerebral edema and clinical outcome. Area under the multivariate model receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.881. Conclusions: This is the first report quantifying human cerebrospinal fluid sulfonylurea receptor-1. Sulfonylurea receptor-1 was detected in severe traumatic brain injury, absent in controls, correlated with CT-edema and preceded peak intracranial pressure. Sulfonylurea receptor-1 trajectories between 48 and 72 hours were associated with outcome. Because a therapy inhibiting sulfonylurea receptor-1 is available, assessing cerebrospinal fluid sulfonylurea receptor-1 in larger studies is warranted to evaluate our exploratory findings regarding its diagnostic, and monitoring utility, as well as its potential to guide targeted therapies in traumatic brain injury and other diseases involving cerebral edema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e255-e264
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • biomarker
  • cerebral edema
  • sulfonylurea receptor-1
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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