Blood RNA Profiles are Diagnostic for Severity in Human Acute Spinal Cord Injury

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
N. KyritsisMichael S. Beattie


Biomarkers of spinal cord injury (SCI) could help determine the severity of the injury and facilitate early critical care decision making. We analyzed global gene expression in peripheral white blood cells during the acute injury phase and identified 153 genes whose expression changed after SCI compared to healthy and trauma controls and in direct relation to SCI severity. Unsupervised co-expression network analysis identified several gene modules that predicted injury severity (AIS grades) with an overall accuracy of 72.7% and included signatures of immune cell subtypes. Our findings indicate that global transcriptomic changes in peripheral blood cells have diagnostic and potentially prognostic value for SCI severity.

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