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BMC Pediatr. 2010 Apr 16;10:22. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-10-22.

A prospective study of the sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic performance of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1, highly sensitive C-reactive protein, soluble E-selectin and serum amyloid A in the diagnosis of neonatal infection.

Author information

1
Regional Immunology Service, Royal Hospitals, The Belfast Trust, & School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland. david.edgar@belfasttrust.hscni.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Diagnosis of neonatal infection is difficult, because of it's non-specific clinical presentation and the lack of reliable diagnostic tests. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential diagnostic value of serum soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin), highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA) measurements, both individually and in combination in the setting of a neonatal intensive care unit.

METHODS:

219 consecutive serum samples were taken from 149 infants undergoing sepsis work up in a neonatal intensive care unit. Clinical diagnosis was established in a prospective manner, blind to the results of the study measurements. Infants were classified by an experienced paediatrician as infected or not-infected, one week after presentation. Classification was based on clinical presentation, routine laboratory and radiological investigations and response to therapy. The infected group were sub-classified as (a) culture positive infection or (b) culture negative infection. sICAM-1, sE-selectin, hsCRP and SAA levels were determined from stored serum samples after diagnosis was established. Further sub-group analysis of results was undertaken according to early or late onset of infection and preterm or term status. Statistical analysis utilised Mann Whitney U test and ROC curve analysis.

RESULTS:

There were significantly increased serum levels of sICAM-1, hsCRP, E selectin (p < 0.001) and SAA (p = 0.004) in infected infants compared with non-infected. ROC curve analysis indicated area under the curve values of 0.79 (sICAM-1), 0.73 (hsCRP), 0.72 (sE-selectin) and 0.61 (SAA). ROC curve analysis also defined optimum diagnostic cut-off levels for each measurement. The performance characteristics of sICAM-1, hsCRP and sE-selectin included a high negative predictive value (NPV) for culture positive infection and this was enhanced by combination of all 4 measurements. Clinical subgroup analysis suggested particularly high NPV for early onset symptoms, however further studies are required to elucidate this finding.

CONCLUSIONS:

All four study measurements demonstrated some diagnostic value for neonatal infection however sICAM-1, hsCRP and sE-selectin demonstrated the highest NPV individually. The optimum diagnostic cut off level for hsCRP measurement in this study was much lower than currently used in routine clinical practice. Use of a combination of measurements enhanced diagnostic performance, demonstrating sensitivity of 90.3% and NPV of 91.3%. This study suggests there may be value in use of several of these markers, individually and in combination to assist in excluding neonatal infection. Further work is needed to confirm a specific role in the exclusion of early onset infection.

PMID:
20398379
PMCID:
PMC2868836
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2431-10-22
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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