Groundbreaking New Biomarkers for Improving Management of Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury


Tuesday, September 28, 7 – 8:30 a.m.
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom 1
Supported by Abbott Laboratories


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a highly prevalent condition that contributes to the overcrowding of emergency departments (ED) worldwide, while also requiring a large proportion of frequently constrained ED resources. Traditional diagnostic tools for the effective triage of TBI patients predominantly rely on the clinical assessment and the use of neuroimaging tools such as computed tomography (CT). Wide use of head CT scans, however, have been associated with excessive and unnecessary radiation exposure. Moreover, experts consistently recommend measures to reduce CT scan use in the management of head injuries. Objective blood biomarkers that aid the selection of patients in need of a CT scan is a game-changing benefit for the management of TBI, especially during a pandemic. Substantial clinical evidence is now endorsing two new blood biomarkers, plasma ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCH-L1) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), that are now FDA cleared. Interpretation from these blood tests can guide imaging decisions and thus, aid in the assessment of who needs CT scans, enabling cost effective triage with early intervention that can significantly improve patient management.


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the crucial unmet need for improved brain health assessment
  • Appreciate the objective value of GFAP and UCH-L1 as new game-changing tests that help clinicians evaluate the brain and optimize care pathways for traumatic brain injury
  • Identify collaborative opportunities to achieve measurably better outcomes related to TBI for patients, payors, clinicians, and health systems


Beth McQuiston, MD, RD
Medical Director


Frederick Korley, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Michigan

Robert Welch, MD, MS
Emergency Medicine
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI