Circulating Levels of Brain-Enriched MicroRNAs Correlate with Neuron Specific Enolase after Cardiac Arrest-A Substudy of the Target Temperature Management Trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Outcome prognostication after cardiac arrest (CA) is challenging. Current multimodal prediction approaches would benefit from new biomarkers. MicroRNAs constitute a novel class of disease markers and circulating levels of brain-enriched ones have been associated with outcome after CA. To determine whether these levels reflect the extent of brain damage in CA patients, we assessed their correlation with neuron-specific enolase (NSE), a marker of brain damage. Blood samples taken 48 h after return of spontaneous circulation from two groups of patients from the Targeted Temperature Management trial were used. Patients were grouped depending on their neurological outcome at six months. Circulating levels of microRNAs were assessed by sequencing. NSE was measured at the same time-point. Among the 673 microRNAs detected, brain-enriched miR9-3p, miR124-3p and miR129-5p positively correlated with NSE levels (all p < 0.001). Interestingly, these correlations were absent when only the good outcome group was analyzed (p > 0.5). Moreover, these correlations were unaffected by demographic and clinical characteristics. All three microRNAs predicted neurological outcome at 6 months. Circulating levels of brain-enriched microRNAs are correlated with NSE levels and hence can reflect the extent of brain injury in patients after CA. This observation strengthens the potential of brain-enriched microRNAs to aid in outcome prognostication after CA.


External organisations
  • Luxembourg Institute of Health
  • Helsingborg Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Copenhagen University Hospital
  • University Hospital of Wales
  • Medical Center Leeuwarden
  • National Fire and Rescue Corps
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • biomarker, cardiac arrest, microRNAs, neurological function, prognostic
Original languageEnglish
Article number4353
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 19
Publication categoryResearch