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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42860. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042860. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Eosinophil count and neutrophil-lymphocyte count ratio as prognostic markers in patients with bacteremia: a retrospective cohort study.

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Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Evaluation, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, España.



There is scarce evidence on the use of eosinophil count as a marker of outcome in patients with infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether changes in eosinophil count, as well as the neutrophil-lymphocyte count ratio (NLCR), could be used as clinical markers of outcome in patients with bacteremia.


We performed a retrospective study of patients with a first episode of community-acquired or healthcare-related bacteremia during hospital admission between 2004 and 2009. A total of 2,311 patients were included. Cox regression was used to analyze the behaviour of eosinophil count and the NLCR in survivors and non-survivors.


In the adjusted analysis, the main independent risk factor for mortality was persistence of an eosinophil count below 0.0454·10(3)/uL (HR = 4.20; 95% CI 2.66-6.62). An NLCR value >7 was also an independent risk factor but was of lesser importance. The mean eosinophil count in survivors showed a tendency to increase rapidly and to achieve normal values between the second and third day. In these patients, the NLCR was <7 between the second and third day.


Both sustained eosinopenia and persistence of an NLCR >7 were independent markers of mortality in patients with bacteremia.

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