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Prooxidant–antioxidant balance in patients with traumatic brain injury


Brain trauma is an important cause of mortality and disability among young people worldwide. One of the mechanisms of post-traumatic secondary brain damage is related to free radical release and oxidative stress (OS). OS is the consequence of an imbalance between pro-oxidants and antioxidants in favor of pro-oxidants. This imbalance may lead to macromolecule damage including lipid peroxidation, protein crosslinking, DNA damage and changes in growth and function of cells in brain. Free radical release and subsequent lipid peroxidation are early events following neural tissues injury and are associated with hypo-perfusion, edema, and disruption of axonal guidance. In this study, we determined the prooxidant–antioxidant balance (PAB) in patients with brain injury, and its correlation with number of demographic and clinical parameters. Sera from 98 patients with traumatic brain and 100 healthy subjects were collected. The serum PAB was measured. Age, sex, GCS (Glasgow coma scale), mechanism of injury, brain lesions found on CT scan and lesions in other parts of the body, caused by trauma, were determined. A significantly higher PAB value was observed in the patient group (138.97 ± 15.9 HK unit) compared to the controls (60.82 ± 12.6 HK) (P = 0.001). In the patient group, there was no significant correlation of PAB with GCS, brain lesion characteristic, mechanism of injury, other accompanying traumatic injury, age and gender. When patients were classified into three groups according to GCS: group 1 (GCS>13, n = 28, PAB serum value = 138.51 ± 62.66 HK), group 2 (GCS between 8 and 12, n = 29, PAB serum value = 162.7 ± 50.6 HK) and group 3 (GCS <8, n = 41, PAB serum value = 155.56 ± 58.21 HK); there was no significant difference between groups. The serum PAB values were higher in patients with traumatic brain injury, although this was not associated with the extent of injury.

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Fig. 1



Total oxidant status


Ferrous ion oxidation xylenol orange


Glasgow coma scale


Prooxidant–antioxidant balance


Traumatic brain injury


Reactive oxygen species


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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Daryoush Hamidi Alamdari.

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Ehsaei, M., Khajavi, M., Arjmand, M.H. et al. Prooxidant–antioxidant balance in patients with traumatic brain injury. Acta Neurol Belg 115, 69–73 (2015).

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  • Prooxidant-antioxidant balance
  • Trumatic brain injury
  • Oxidative stress