Adrenomedullin is a recently discovered 52-amino-acid peptide that is a potent vasodilator. Infusion of adrenomedullin increases regional cerebral blood flow and reduces infarct volume after vascular occlusion in rats. Adrenomedullin may represent an endogenous neuroprotectant since it is increased after focal brain ischemia. Cerebral hypoperfusion is present after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children. We hypothesized that adrenomedullin levels would be increased in children with severe TBI. Total adrenomedullin concentrations were measured using a radioimmunometric assay. Thirty-six samples of ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 10 pediatric patients were collected during the first 10 days after severe TBI (GCS < 8). Control CSF was obtained from 5 children undergoing lumbar puncture, who had normal CSF parameters and no evidence of central nervous system infection. Patients underwent standard neuro-intensive care, including cerebrospinal fluid drainage. Data were analyzed using a univariate regression model. Adrenomedullin concentration was markedly elevated in CSF of children following TBI versus control (mean level 10.65 vs 1.51 fmol/ml, p = 0.006). All 36 case samples had an adrenomedullin concentration above the median value for the controls (1.52 fmol/ml). We conclude adrenomedullin is elevated in the CSF of children following severe TBI. We speculate that it participates in the endogenous response to cerebral hypoperfusion after TBI.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology