The Biomarker S100B and Physical Activity: Implications for Sports-Related Concussion Management

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Elevated levels of the astroglial protein S100B have been shown to predict sport-related concussion. However, S100B levels within an athlete can vary depending on the type of physical activity (PA) engaged in and the methodologic approach used to measure them. Thus, appropriate reference values in the diagnosis of concussed athletes remain undefined. The purpose of our systematic literature review was to provide an overview of the current literature examining S100B measurement in the context of PA. The overall goal is to improve the use of the biomarker S100B in the context of sport-related concussion management.


PubMed, SciVerse Scopus, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, and Cochrane.


We selected articles that contained (1) research studies focusing exclusively on humans in which (2) either PA was used as an intervention or the test participants or athletes were involved in PA and (3) S100B was measured as a dependent variable.


We identified 24 articles. Study variations included the mode of PA used as an intervention, sample types, sample-processing procedures, and analytic techniques.


Given the nonuniformity of the analytical methods used and the data samples collected, as well as differences in the types of PA investigated, we were not able to determine a single consistent reference value of S100B in the context of PA. Thus, a clear distinction between a concussed athlete and a healthy athlete based solely on the existing S100B cutoff value of 0.1 μg/L remains unclear. However, because of its high sensitivity and excellent negative predictive value, S100B measurement seems to have the potential to be a diagnostic adjunct for concussion in sports settings. We recommend that the interpretation of S100B values be based on congruent study designs to ensure measurement reliability and validity.