Preoperative protein profiles in cerebrospinal fluid in elderly hip fracture patients at risk for delirium: A proteomics and validation study

Dunja Westhoff, Joost Witlox, Corneli van Aalst, Rikie M. Scholtens, Sophia E. de Rooij, Barbara C. van Munster, Jos F. M. de Jonghe, Alexander P. J. Houdijk, Piet Eikelenboom, David J. van Westerloo, Diederik van de Beek, Willem A. van Gool, Leo Koenderman

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Background: A neuroinflammatory response is suggested to play an important role in delirium, a common complication in older hospitalized patients. We examined whether hip fracture patients who develop postoperative delirium have a different proteome in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) prior to surgery. Methods: Patients (>= 75 years) were admitted for hip fracture surgery. CSF was collected during spinal anaesthesia; proteins were separated using gel electrophoresis and identified with mass spectrometry. We compared the proteome of patients with and without postoperative delirium. Findings were validated in an independent, comparable cohort using immuno-assays. Results: In the derivation cohort 53 patients were included, 35.8% developed postoperative delirium. We identified differences in levels of eight CSF proteins between patients with and without subsequent delirium: complement factor C3, contactin-1, fibulin-1 and I-beta-1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase were significantly lower in patients with postoperative delirium, while neural cell adhesion molecule-2, fibrinogen, zinc-alpha-2-glycoprotein and haptoglobin levels were significantly higher. In the validation cohort 21.2% of 52 patients developed postoperative delirium. Immuno-assays confirmed contactin-1 results although not statistically significant. Complement factor C3 was significantly higher in patients with postoperative delirium. Conclusion: Our results show the complexity of pathophysiological mechanisms involved in delirium and emphasizes the need of independent validation of findings. General significance: This study highlights the challenges and inconsistent findings in studies of delirium, a serious complication in older patients. We analysed proteins in CSF, the most proximal fluid to the brain. All patients were free from delirium at the time of sampling. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
JournalBBA clinical
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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