INTRODUCTION: Neutrophil-lymphocyte count ratio (NLCR) is a simple and low-cost marker of inflammatory response. NLCR has shown to be a sensitive marker of clinical severity in inflammatory-related tissue injury, and high value of NLCR is associated with poor outcome in traumatic brain injured (TBI) patients. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively analyze NLCR and its association with outcome in a cohort of TBI patients in relation to the type of brain injury.
METHODS: Adult patients admitted for isolated TBI with Glasgow Coma Score lower than eight were included in the study. NLCR was calculated as the ratio between the absolute neutrophil and lymphocyte count immediately after admission to the hospital, and for six consecutive days after admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Brain injuries were classified according to neuroradiological findings at the admission computed tomography (CT) as DAI-patients with severe diffuse axonal injury; CE-patients with hemispheric or focal cerebral edema; ICH-patients with intracerebral hemorrhage; S-EH/SAH-patients with subdural and/or epidural hematoma/subarachnoid hemorrhage.
RESULTS: NLCR was calculated in 144 patients. Admission NLCR was significantly higher in the non-survivors than in those who survived at 28 days (p < 0.05) from admission. Persisting high NLCR value was associated with poor outcome, and admission NLCR higher than 15.63 was a predictor of 28-day mortality. The highest NLCR value at admission was observed in patients with DAI compared with other brain injuries (p < 0.001). Concussions: NLCR can be a useful marker for predicting outcome in TBI patients. Further studies are warranted to confirm these results.