Cerebrospinal fluid creatine kinase-BB isoenzyme activity and outcome after subarachnoid hemorrhage

William M. Coplin, W. T. Longstreth, Arthur M. Lam, Wayne L. Chandler, Teresa S. Mayberg, James S. Fine, H. Richard Winn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: The brain is rich in creatine kinase-BB isoenzyme activity (CK-BB), which is not normally present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Results of previous studies have shown that CK-BB can be detected in the CSF of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), but whether CK-BB levels correlate with patients' neurologic outcomes is unknown. Objective: To evaluate the relationship between CSF CK-BB level and outcome after SAH. Design: Prospective observational cohort. Setting: University-affiliated tertiary care center. Patients: Convenience sample of 30 patients seen for cerebral aneurysm clipping. Interventions: We sampled and assayed CSF for CK isoenzymes a median of 3 days after SAH in 27 patients, and at the time of unruptured aneurysm clipping in 3 patients. Main Outcome Measures: Without knowledge of CK results, we assigned the Glasgow Outcome Scale score early (≃1 week) and late (≃2 months) after surgery. Results: Higher CSF CK-BB levels were associated with higher Hunt and Hess grades at hospital admission (Spearman rank correlation, p = 0.69; P<.001), lower Glasgow Coma Scale scores at hospital admission (p =-0.72; P<.001), and worse early outcomes on the Glasgow Outcome Scale (p = -0.64; P<.001). For patients with a favorable early outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale score, 3-5), all CK-BB levels were less than 40 U/L. With a cutoff value of 40 U/L, CK-BB had a sensitivity of 70% and a specificity of 100% for predicting unfavorable early outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale score, 1-2). Having a CK-BB level greater than 40 U/L increased the chance of an unfavorable early outcome, from 33% (previous probability) to 100%, whereas a CK-BB level of 40 U/L or less decreased it to 13%. Similar findings were obtained when considering late outcomes. Conclusion: The level of CSF CK-BB may help predict neurologic outcome after SAH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1348-1352
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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