Article

The Utility of Serum Hepcidin as a Biomarker for Late-Onset Neonatal Sepsis

Division of Neonatology, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.
The Journal of pediatrics (Impact Factor: 4.02). 07/2012; 162(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.06.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To assess the utility of hepcidin, a potent regulator of host defense and inflammation, in the diagnosis of late-onset sepsis in very low birth weight infants. STUDY DESIGN: We compared the diagnostic performance of hepcidin with C-reactive protein from the serum concentrations in acute and convalescent blood specimens obtained from 44 infants suspected of late-onset sepsis. The predictive accuracies were assessed from the areas under receiver operating characteristic curves and the cutoffs that differentiated infants with and without sepsis were identified using classification and regression tree analysis. RESULTS: Seventeen of the enrolled infants in this study were bacteremic and/or received antibiotics for neonatal sepsis for ≥5 days (infants with sepsis). The concentrations of hepcidin were increased 4-fold in infants with compared with infants without sepsis (P < .0001) and returned to similar levels following therapy. The areas under receiver operating characteristic curves of hepcidin was 0.93 compared with 0.83 for C-reactive protein, P = .06. Hepcidin concentration >92.2 ng/mL correctly classified 91% of all infants (positive predictive value: 100%, negative predictive value: 87%, specificity: 100%, and sensitivity: 76%). CONCLUSION: Serum hepcidin concentration may be a useful adjunct test, in addition to blood culture and other markers of infection, in the evaluation of late-onset sepsis in very low birth weight infants.

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