The Second NINDS/NIBIB Consensus Meeting to Define Neuropathological Criteria for the Diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Kevin F. Bieniek, Nigel J. Cairns, John F. Crary, Dennis W. Dickson, Rebecca D. Folkerth, C. Dirk Keene, Irene Litvan, Daniel P. Perl, Thor D. Stein, Jean Paul Vonsattel, William Stewart, Kristen Dams-O'connor, Wayne A. Gordon, Yorghos Tripodis, Victor E. Alvarez, Jesse Mez, Michael L. Alosco, Ann C. Mckee, Debra Babcock, Patrick BellgowanPaul Crane, Brian Edlow, Bertrand Russ Huber, Patrick Kiernan, Walter Koroshetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with exposure to head trauma. In 2015, a panel of neuropathologists funded by the NINDS/NIBIB defined preliminary consensus neuropathological criteria for CTE, including the pathognomonic lesion of CTE as "an accumulation of abnormal hyperphosphorylated tau (p-tau) in neurons and astroglia distributed around small blood vessels at the depths of cortical sulci and in an irregular pattern," based on review of 25 tauopathy cases. In 2016, the consensus panel met again to review and refine the preliminary criteria, with consideration around the minimum threshold for diagnosis and the reproducibility of a proposed pathological staging scheme. Eight neuropathologists evaluated 27 cases of tauopathies (17 CTE cases), blinded to clinical and demographic information. Generalized estimating equation analyses showed a statistically significant association between the raters and CTE diagnosis for both the blinded (OR = 72.11, 95% CI = 19.5-267.0) and unblinded rounds (OR = 256.91, 95% CI = 63.6-1558.6). Based on the challenges in assigning CTE stage, the panel proposed a working protocol including a minimum threshold for CTE diagnosis and an algorithm for the assessment of CTE severity as "Low CTE" or "High CTE" for use in future clinical, pathological, and molecular studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-219
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • Brain trauma
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Tauopathy
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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