[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Community-acquired-pneumonia is the leading cause of child mortality worldwide. Very few studies have explored the predictive value of Proadrenomedullin and Copeptin in pediatric severe pneumonia and bacteremia.
Proadrenomedullin and Copeptin were assessed as predictors for complicated community-acquired pneumonia (bacteremia, empyema) in 88 children aged 0 to 16 years presenting to the pediatric emergency department, using B.R.A.H.M.S. Kryptor Compact pro-ADM and Copeptin with the TRACE technology (time-resolved amplified cryptase emission). STARD standard reporting was used.
A complicated community-acquired pneumonia was found in 11 out of 88 children (12.5 %). Proadrenomedullin median values increased more than twofold, in complicated vs. uncomplicated (0.18 vs. 0.08 nmol/L, p = 0.039), and fivefold in bacteremic vs. non-bacteremic pneumonia (0.40 vs. 0.08 nmol/L, p = 0.02). Proadrenomedullin > 0.16 nmol/L showed 100 % sensitivity (95 % CI 39.8 - 100.0) and 70 % (95 % CI 58.7 - 79.7) specificity for bacteremia. Copeptin showed no added-value.
Proadrenomedullin seems a reliable and available predictor for complicated CAP, and could therefore help the physician with the decision to hospitalize, and choose the antibiotics administration route. Larger studies are needed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Lab-score, based on the combined determination of procalcitonin, C-reactive protein and urinary dipstick results, has been shown accurate in detecting serious bacterial infections (SBI) in children with fever without source (FWS) on retrospective cohorts. We aimed to prospectively assess the utility of the Lab-score in safely decreasing antibiotic prescriptions in children with FWS and to determine its diagnostic characteristics compared to common SBI biomarkers.
Randomized controlled trial in children 7 days to 36 months old with FWS, allocated either to the Lab-score group (Lab-score reported, blinded WBC count) or to the control group (WBC, bands and C-reactive protein determined, blinded procalcitonin and Lab-score), followed up until recovery. Demographic data, antibiotic prescription rate, admission rate and diagnostic properties of the Lab-score were analyzed.
271 children were analyzed. No statistically significant difference concerning antibiotic prescription rate was observed: 41.2% (54 of 131) in the Lab-score group and 42.1% (59 of 140) in the control group (p = 1.000). If recommendations based on the Lab-score had been strictly applied, a hypothetical 30.6% treatment rate would have been encountered, compared to the overall 41.7% observed rate (p = 0.0095). A Lab-score ≥3 showed the following characteristics: sensitivity 85.1% (95% CI: 76.5-93.6%), specificity 87.3% (95% CI: 82.7-91.8%), positive predictive value 68.7% (95% CI: 58.7-78.7%), negative predictive value 94.1% (95% CI: 91.5-97.9%), positive and negative likelihood ratios: 6.68 and 0.17 respectively. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was best for the Lab-score (0.911, 95% CI: 0.871-0.950).
No difference regarding antibiotic treatment rate was observed when using the Lab-score, due to lack of adherence to the related recommendations. However, if strictly followed, a significant 26.5% reduction of antibiotic prescriptions would have been encountered. Medical education needs to be reinforced in order to observe rather than treat low-risk well-appearing children with FWS.
PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115061. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115061 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite various efforts to estimate cost-effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, only scarce information on the cost burden of paediatric community acquired pneumonia (CAP) exists. The objective of this study was to prospectively calculate direct and indirect costs associated with treatment of CAP from a society perspective in children between 2 months and 16 years of age seeking care at a tertiary hospital in Geneva, Switzerland between December 2008 and May 2010.
This cost of illness study population comprised children aged from 2 months to 16 years of age seeking care for CAP at the University Children's Hospital Geneva from January 2008 through May 2010 (a subset of patients taken from a larger multicentre prospective cohort). Hospital-associated costs for episodes of pneumonia were computed according to the REKOLE® system. Non-hospital costs were estimated by parental interviews at baseline and follow-up on day 14.
The overall cost for one episode of CAP was 11'258 CHF; 23'872 CHF for inpatient treatment and 1009 CHF for outpatient treatment. Severe pneumonia cases per World Health Organisation (WHO) definition used significantly more hospital resources than non-severe cases: 21'842 CHF versus 3'479 CHF (p <0.0001).
Childhood CAP results in a significant medical cost burden that may have been underestimated in previous cost-effectiveness analyses of pneumococcal vaccine strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a serious cause of morbidity among children in developed countries. The real impact of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) on pneumococcal pneumonia is difficult to assess accurately.
Children aged <=16years with clinical and radiological pneumonia were enrolled in a multicenter prospective study. Children aged<=16years admitted for a minor elective surgery was recruited as controls. Nasopharyngeal samples for PCR serotyping of S. pneumoniae were obtained in both groups. Informations on age, gender, PCV7 vaccination status, day care/school attendance, siblings, tobacco exposure were collected.
In children with CAP (n=236), 54% of the nasopharyngeal swabs were PCR-positive for S. pneumoniae compared to 32% in controls (n=105) (p=0.003). Serotype 19A was the most common pneumococcal serotype carried in children with CAP (13%) and in controls (15%). Most common serotypes were non-vaccine types (39.4% for CAP and 47.1% for controls) and serotypes included only in PCV13 (32.3% for CAP and 23.5% for controls). There was no significant difference in vaccine serotype distribution between the two groups. In fully vaccinated children with CAP, the proportion of serotypes carried only in PCV13 was higher (51.4%) than in partially vaccinated or non vaccinated children (27.6% and 28.6% respectively, p=0.037).
Two to 4years following introduction of PCV7, predominant S. pneumoniae serotypes carried in children with CAP were non PCV7 serotypes, and the 6 new serotypes included in PCV13 accounted for 51.4% of carried serotypes in fully vaccinated children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: Our objective was to evaluate procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) as predictors of a pneumococcal etiology in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in hospitalized children. METHODS:: Children requiring hospitalization for CAP were prospectively enrolled. The following indices were determined: antibodies against pneumococcal surface proteins (anti-Ply, PhtD, PhtE, LytB and PcpA), viral serology, naso-pharyngeal cultures and PCR for 13 respiratory viruses, blood pneumococcal PCR, pneumococcal urinary antigen (PUA), PCT and CRP. Presumed pneumococcal CAP (P-CAP) was defined as a positive blood culture or PCR for S. pneumoniae, or as a pneumococcal surface protein seroresponse (≥ 2-fold increase). RESULTS:: 75 patients were included from which 37 (49%) met the criteria of P-CAP. Elevated PCT and CRP values were strongly associated with P-CAP with odds-ratios of 23 (95%CI:5-117) for PCT and 19 (95%CI:5-75) for CRP in multivariate analysis. The sensitivity was 94.4 % for PCT (cut-off: 1.5 ng/mL) and 91.9% for CRP (cut-off: 100 mg/L). A value ≤ 0.5 ng/mL of PCT ruled out P-CAP in more than 90% of cases (negative likelihood ratio: 0.08). Conversely, a PCT value ≥ 1.5 ng/mL associated with a positive PUA had a diagnostic probability for P-CAP of almost 80% (positive likelihood ratio: 4.59). CONCLUSIONS:: PCT and CRP are reliable predictors of P-CAP. Low-cut off values of PCT allow identification of children at low risk of P-CAP. The association of elevated PCT or CRP with a positive PUA is a strong predictor of P-CAP.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current (1999) World Health Organization guidelines recommend giving routine antibiotics (AB) for all children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), even if they have uncomplicated disease with no clinically obvious infections. We examined the evidence behind this recommendation.
OVID-MEDLINE, EMBASE, COCHRANE, GLOBAL-HEALTH, CINAHL, POPLINE, AFRICA-WIDE-NiPAD, and LILACS were searched for AB efficacy, bacterial resistance, and infection rates in SAM. Following PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review and meta-analysis were performed. Three randomised controlled trials (RCT), five Cochrane reviews, and 37 observational studies were identified. One cohort-study showed no increase in nutritional-cure and mortality in uncomplicated SAM where no AB were used. (p>0.05). However, an unpublished RCT in this setting did show mortality benefits. Another RCT did not show superiority of ceftriaxone over amoxicilllin for these same outcomes, but adressed SAM children with and without complications (p = 0.27). Another RCT showed no difference between amoxicillin and cotrimoxazole efficacies for pneumonia in underweight, but not SAM. Our meta-analysis of 12 pooled susceptibility-studies for all types of bacterial isolates, including 2767 stricly SAM children, favoured amoxicillin over cotrimoxazole for susceptibility medians: 42% (IQR 27-55%) vs 22% (IQR 17-23%) and population-weighted-means 52.9% (range 23-57%) vs 35.4% (range 6.7-42%). Susceptibilities to second-line AB were better, above 80%. Prevalence of serious infections in SAM, pooled from 24 studies, ranged from 17% to 35.2%. No study infered any association of infection prevalence with AB regimens in SAM.
The evidence underlying current antibiotic recommendations for uncomplicated SAM is weak. Susceptibility-studies favour amoxicillin over cotrimoxazole. However, given that these antibiotics have side-effects, costs, and risks as well as benefits, their routine use needs urgent testing. With reliable monitoring, we believe that there is sufficient equipoise for placebo controlled RCTs, the only robust way to demonstrate true efficacy.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53184. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0053184 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Urinary tract infection leads to a diagnosis of moderate or high grade (III or higher) vesicoureteral reflux in approximately 15% of children. Predicting reflux grade III or higher would make it possible to restrict cystography to high risk cases. We aimed to derive a clinical decision rule to predict vesicoureteral reflux grade III or higher in children with a first febrile urinary tract infection.
We conducted a secondary analysis of prospective series including all children with a first febrile urinary tract infection from the 8 European participating university hospitals.
A total of 494 patients (197 boys, reflux grade III or higher in 11%) were included. Procalcitonin and ureteral dilatation on ultrasound were significantly associated with reflux grade III or higher and then combined into a prediction model with an ROC AUC of 0.75 (95% CI 0.69-0.81). Given the prespecified constraint of achieving at least 85% sensitivity, our model led to the clinical decision rule, for children with a first febrile urinary tract infection cystography should be performed in cases with ureteral dilatation and serum procalcitonin level 0.17 ng/ml or higher, or without ureteral dilatation (ie ureter not visible) when serum procalcitonin level is 0.63 ng/ml or higher. The rule had 86% sensitivity (95% CI 74-93) with 47% specificity (95% CI 42-51). Internal cross-validation produced 86% sensitivity (95% CI 79-93) and 43% specificity (95% CI 39-47).
A clinical decision rule was derived to enable a selective approach to cystography in children with urinary tract infection. The rule predicts high grade vesicoureteral reflux with approximately 85% sensitivity and avoids half of the cystograms that do not find reflux grade III or higher. Further validation is needed before its widespread use.
The Journal of urology 11/2011; 187(1):265-71. DOI:10.1016/j.juro.2011.09.034 · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the predictive value of procalcitonin, a serum inflammatory marker, in the identification of children with first urinary tract infection (UTI) who might have high-grade (≥3) vesicoureteral reflux (VUR).
We conducted a meta-analysis of individual data, including all series of children aged 1 month to 4 years with a first UTI, a procalcitonin (PCT) level measurement, cystograms, and an early dimercaptosuccinic acid scan.
Of the 152 relevant identified articles, 12 studies representing 526 patients (10% with VUR ≥3) were included. PCT level was associated with VUR ≥3 as a continuous (P = .001), and as a binary variable, with a 0.5 ng/mL preferred threshold (adjusted OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1 to 5.4). The sensitivity of PCT ≥0.5 ng/mL was 83% (95% CI, 71 to 91) with 43% specificity rate (95% CI, 38 to 47). In the subgroup of children with a positive results on dimercaptosuccinic acid scan, PCT ≥0.5 ng/mL was also associated with high-grade VUR (adjusted OR, 4.8; 95% CI, 1.3 to 17.6).
We confirmed that PCT is a sensitive and validated predictor strongly associated with VUR ≥3, regardless of the presence of early renal parenchymal involvement in children with a first UTI.
The Journal of pediatrics 04/2011; 159(4):644-51.e4. DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.03.008 · 3.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of severe bacterial infection (SBI)in children with fever without source (FWS) remains a diagnostic problem. The authors previously developed in their Swiss population a risk index score, called the Lab-score, associating three independent predictors of SBI, namely C reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin (PCT) and urinary dipstick. The objective of this study was to validate the Lab-score in a population of children with FWS different from the derivation model.
A prospective study, conducted in Padova, on 408 children aged 7 days to 36 months with FWS was recently published. PCT, CRP, white blood cell count (WBC) and urinary dipstick were determined in all children. The Lab-score was applied to this population and the diagnostic characteristics for the detection of SBI were calculated for the Lab-score and for any single variable used in the Italian study.
For the identification of SBI, the sensitivity of a score ≥3 was 86% (95% CI 77% to 92%) and the specificity 83% (95% CI 79% to 87%). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the Lab-score (0.91) was significantly superior to that of any single variable: 0.71 for WBC, 0.86 for CRP and 0.84 for PCT. The Lab-score performed better than other laboratory markers, even when applied to children of different age groups (<3 months, 3-12 months and >12 months). The results obtained in this validation set population were comparable with those of the derivation set population.
This study validated the Lab-score as a valuable tool to identify SBI in children with FWS.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 12/2010; 95(12):968-73. DOI:10.1136/adc.2009.176800 · 2.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical decision rules (CDRs) could be helpful to safely distinguish between bacterial and aseptic meningitis (AM).
To compare the performance of two of these CDRs for children: the Bacterial Meningitis Score (BMS) and the Meningitest.
Secondary analysis of retrospective multicentre hospital-based cohort study.
Six paediatric emergency or intensive care units of tertiary care centres in five European countries.
Consecutive children aged 29 days to 18 years presenting with acute meningitis and procalcitonin (PCT) measurement. Intervention None.
The sensitivity and specificity of the BMS (start antibiotics in case of seizure, positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Gram staining, blood neutrophil count ≥10 ×10(9)/l, CSF protein level ≥80 mg/dl or CSF neutrophil count ≥1000 ×10(6)/l) and the Meningitest (start antibiotics in case of seizure, purpura, toxic appearance, PCT level ≥0.5 ng/ml, positive CSF Gram staining or CSF protein level ≥50 mg/dl) were compared using a McNemar test.
198 patients (mean age 4.8 years) from six centres in five European countries were included; 96 had bacterial meningitis. The BMS and Meningitest both showed 100% sensitivity (95% CI 96% to 100%). The BMS had a significantly higher specificity (52%, 95% CI 42% to 62% vs 36%, 95% CI 27% to 46%; p<10(-)8).
The Meningitest and the BMS were both 100% sensitive. This result provides level II evidence for the sensitivity of both rules, which can be used cautiously. However, use of the BMS could safely avoid significantly more unnecessary antibiotic treatments for children with AM than can the Meningitest in this population.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 12/2010; 95(12):963-7. DOI:10.1136/adc.2010.186056 · 2.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For decades, many investigators have attempted to identify clinical or laboratory markers that can accurately differentiate severe bacterial from self-limiting viral infections in young children with fever without source. Unfortunately, no perfect marker has been discovered so far. Many guidelines recommend white blood cell count as a screening marker in fever without source, whereas compelling evidence in the literature emphasizes the superior characteristics of C-reactive protein and procalcitonin. One way to improve predictive value is the combination of prediction rules of different tests for clinical and laboratory markers. Several clinical decision rules, reviewed in this article, have been suggested but seem to be difficult to implement in practice due to their complexity. Recently, procalcitonin, C-reactive protein and urinary dipstick were combined in a simple risk index score that displayed promising predictive value in severe bacterial infections in children. Ultimately, impact analyses still have to be performed to show improved quality of care in this setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clin Microbiol Infect 2011; 17: 1232–1238
The aetiological diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is challenging in children, and serological markers would be useful surrogates for epidemiological studies of pneumococcal CAP. We compared the use of anti-pneumolysin (Ply) antibody alone or with four additional pneumococcal surface proteins (PSPs) (pneumococcal histidine triad D (PhtD), pneumococcal histidine triad E (PhtE), LytB, and pneumococcal choline-binding protein A (PcpA)) as serological probes in children hospitalized with CAP. Recent pneumococcal exposure (positive blood culture for Streptococcus pneumoniae, Ply+ blood PCR finding, and PSP seroresponse) was predefined as supporting the diagnosis of presumed pneumococcal CAP (P-CAP). Twenty-three of 75 (31%) children with CAP (mean age 33.7 months) had a Ply+ PCR finding and/or a ≥2-fold increase of antibodies. Adding seroresponses to four PSPs identified 12 additional patients (35/75, 45%), increasing the sensitivity of the diagnosis of P-CAP from 0.44 (Ply alone) to 0.94. Convalescent anti-Ply and anti-PhtD antibody titres were significantly higher in P-CAP than in non P-CAP patients (446 vs. 169 ELISA Units (EU)/mL, p 0.031, and 189 vs. 66 EU/mL, p 0.044), confirming recent exposure. Acute anti-PcpA titres were three-fold lower (71 vs. 286 EU/mL, p <0.001) in P-CAP children. Regression analyses confirmed a low level of acute PcpA antibodies as the only independent predictor (p 0.002) of P-CAP. Novel PSPs facilitate the demonstration of recent pneumococcal exposure in CAP children. Low anti-PcpA antibody titres at admission distinguished children with P-CAP from those with CAP with a non-pneumococcal origin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overview Urethral catheterization permits direct drainage of the urinary bladder and is of-ten performed in pediatric practice. This video demonstrates a diagnostic urethral catheterization in a male infant, using a catheter without a balloon. Indications A common diagnostic indication for urethral catheterization is the need to col-lect a sterile urine specimen for culture and urinalysis (especially when it is medi-cally important to get a urine sample from a young child who cannot void on command). Urethral catheterization may also be used to carry out voiding cys-tourethrography or to monitor urine output in certain postoperative patients or critically ill patients. Therapeutic indications for urethral catheterization include acute urinary retention (to provide decompression), neurogenic bladder (to provide intermittent catheterization), blood and blood clots in the bladder (to provide continuous bladder irrigation), and the administration of drugs.
New England Journal of Medicine 09/2010; 363(14):e19. DOI:10.1056/NEJMvcm0808873 · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of procalcitonin (PCT) measurement on antibiotic use in children with fever without source.
Children aged 1 to 36 months presenting to a pediatric emergency department (ED) with fever and no identified source of infection were eligible to be included in a randomized controlled trial. Patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups as follows: PCT+ (result revealed to the attending physician) and PCT- (result not revealed). Patients from both groups also had complete blood count, blood culture, urine analysis, and culture performed. Chest radiography or lumbar puncture could be performed if required.
Of the 384 children enrolled and equally randomized into the PCT+ and PCT- groups, 62 (16%) were diagnosed with a serious bacterial infection (urinary tract infection, pneumonia, occult bacteremia, or bacterial meningitis) by primary ED investigation. Ten were also found to be neutropenic (<500 x 10(6)/L). Of the remaining undiagnosed patients, 14 (9%) of 158 received antibiotics in the PCT+ group vs 16 (10%) of 154 in the PCT- group (Delta -2%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -8 to 5). A strategy to treat all patients with PCT of 0.5 ng/mL or greater with prophylactic antibiotic in this group of patients would have resulted in an increase in antibiotic use by 24% (95% CI, 15-33).
Semiquantitative PCT measurement had no impact on antibiotic use in children aged 1 to 36 months who presented with fever without source. However, a strategy to use prophylactic antibiotics in all patients with abnormal PCT results would have resulted in an increase use of antibiotics.
The American journal of emergency medicine 07/2010; 28(6):647-53. DOI:10.1016/j.ajem.2009.02.022 · 1.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rotavirus gastroenteritis (RV GE) is a leading cause of diarrhoea in young children. The purpose of this epidemiological surveillance was to measure the disease burden of RV GE among children <5 years of age in two regions of Switzerland, Geneva and Lucerne. One hospital and four paediatricians participated per region. The surveillance lasted from December 2006 to June 2007. The population denominator for calculation of the RV GE incidence rate was the average of the overall study population <5 years of age under surveillance during the surveillance period. At the study sites, 513 children with GE were presented. Stool sample was collected and examined in 341 cases, of which 130 were RV positive (38.1%). Informed consent to participate in the study was obtained for 113 RV positive subjects. The overall RV GE incidence rate was 0.97% in Lucerne [lower incidence interval (LCI), 0.71%; upper incidence interval (UCI), 1.2%] compared with 0.65 and in Geneva (LCI, 0.50%; UCI, 0.81%). Disease severity assessments using the Vescari score showed that the RV GE episodes were more severe in Lucerne than in Geneva (14.05 +/- 3.05 vs 12.85 +/- 2.87), which was confirmed by a higher hospitalisation rate in Lucerne at the study visit (82.9% vs 23.6%). More children had fever in Geneva than in Lucerne (42.9% vs 26.8%), and more children were hospitalised during the follow-up period in Geneva than in Lucerne (14.5% vs 2.5%). Genotyping of RV positive stool samples revealed that both G1 and P8 were the most prevalent types in both regions. There was a statistically significant difference in the distribution frequency of G1 between the two regions (p = 0.039). Assessment of health economic data confirmed the economic burden of RV GE episodes. In conclusion, RV GE episodes are a health burden as well as an economic burden also for the children in a developed country such as Switzerland.
European Journal of Pediatrics 09/2009; 169(3):319-25. DOI:10.1007/s00431-009-1032-y · 1.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a major cause of death in developing countries and of morbidity in developed countries. The objective of the study was to define the causative agents among children hospitalized for CAP defined by WHO guidelines and to correlate etiology with clinical severity and surrogate markers. Investigations included an extensive etiological workup. A potential causative agent was detected in 86% of the 99 enrolled patients, with evidence of bacterial (53%), viral (67%), and mixed (33%) infections. Streptococcus pneumoniae was accounted for in 46% of CAP. Dehydration was the only clinical sign associated with bacterial pneumonia. CRP and PCT were significantly higher in bacterial infections. Increasing the number of diagnostic tests identifies potential causes of CAP in up to 86% of children, indicating a high prevalence of viruses and frequent co-infections. The high proportion of pneumococcal infections re-emphasizes the importance of pneumococcal immunization.
European Journal of Pediatrics 03/2009; 168(12):1429-36. DOI:10.1007/s00431-009-0943-y · 1.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To validate procalcitonin (PCT) level as the best biological marker to distinguish between bacterial and aseptic meningitis in children in the emergency department.
Secondary analysis of retrospective multicenter hospital-based cohort studies.
Six pediatric emergency or intensive care units of tertiary care centers in 5 European countries.
Consecutive children aged 29 days to 18 years with acute meningitis.
Univariate analysis and meta-analysis to compare the performance of blood parameters (PCT level, C-reactive protein level, white blood cell count, and neutrophil count) and cerebrospinal fluid parameters (protein level, glucose level, white blood cell count, and neutrophil count) quickly available in the emergency department to distinguish early on between bacterial and aseptic meningitis.
Of 198 patients analyzed, 96 had bacterial meningitis. Sensitivity of cerebrospinal fluid Gram staining was 75%. The PCT level had significantly better results than the other markers for area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (0.98; 95% confidence interval, 0.95-0.99; P = .001). At a 0.5-ng/mL threshold, PCT level had 99% sensitivity (95% confidence interval, 97%-100%) and 83% specificity (95% confidence interval, 76%-90%) for distinguishing between bacterial and aseptic meningitis. The diagnostic odds ratio between high PCT level and bacterial meningitis was 139 (95% confidence interval, 39-498), without significant heterogeneity between centers.
The PCT level is a strong predictor for distinguishing between bacterial and aseptic meningitis in children in the emergency department. Its combination with other parameters in an effective clinical decision rule could be helpful.