To determine whether a correlation exists between paired cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum levels of a novel inflammatory biomarker, high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), in different neurological conditions.
HMGB1 was measured in the serum and CSF of 46 neurological patients (18 idiopathic intracranial hypertension [IIH], 18 neurological infection/inflammation [NII] and 10 Rasmussen’s encephalitis [RE]).
Mean serum (± SD) HMGB1 levels were 1.43 ± 0.54, 25.28 ± 27.9 and 1.89 ± 1.49 ng/ml for the patients with IIH, NII and RE, respectively. Corresponding mean (± SD) CSF levels were 0.35 ± 0.22, 4.48 ± 6.56 and 2.24 ± 2.35 ng/ml. Both CSF and serum HMGB1 was elevated in NII. Elevated CSF HMGB1 was demonstrated in RE. There was no direct correlation between CSF and serum levels of HMGB1.
Serum HMGB1 cannot be used as a surrogate measure for CSF levels. CSF HMGB1 was elevated in NII and RE, its role as a prognostic/stratification biomarker needs further study.