BACKGROUND: Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is the most frequent, severe neurological complication of prematurity and is associated with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) in up to half of cases. PHH requires lifelong neurosurgical care and is associated with significant cognitive and psychomotor disability. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers may provide both diagnostic information for PHH and novel insights into its pathophysiology. OBJECTIVE: To explore the diagnostic ability of candidate CSF biomarkers for PHH. METHODS: Concentrations of amyloid precursor protein (APP), soluble APPα (sAPPα), soluble APPβ, neural cell adhesion molecule-1 (NCAM-1), L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM), tau, phosphorylated tau, and total protein (TP) were measured in lumbar CSF from neonates in 6 groups: (1) no known neurological disease (n = 33); (2) IVH grades I to II (n = 13); (3) IVH grades III to IV (n = 12); (4) PHH (n = 12); (5) ventricular enlargement without hydrocephalus (n = 10); and (6) hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (n = 13). CSF protein levels were compared using analysis of variance, and logistic regression was performed to examine the predictive ability of each marker for PHH. RESULTS: Lumbar CSF levels of APP, sAPPα, L1CAM, and TP were selectively increased in PHH compared with all other conditions (all P < .001). The sensitivity, specificity, and odds ratios of candidate CSF biomarkers for PHH were determined for APP, sAPPα, and L1CAM; cut points of 699, 514, and 113 ng/mL yielded odds ratios for PHH of 80.0, 200.0, and 68.75, respectively. CONCLUSION: Lumbar CSF APP, sAPPα, L1CAM, and TP were selectively increased in PHH. These proteins, and sAPPα, in particular, hold promise as biomarkers of PHH and provide novel insight into PHH-associated neural injury and repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Amyloid precursor protein
  • Biomarker
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • L1CAM
  • Neurosurgery
  • Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus
  • Preterm
  • SAPPα


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