Published online Aug 28, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i32.4857
Peer-review started: May 23, 2020
First decision: June 12, 2020
Revised: June 18, 2020
Accepted: July 30, 2020
Article in press: July 30, 2020
Published online: August 28, 2020
The diagnosis of bacterial infection is difficult in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF).
To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of widely used parameters for bacterial infection in ACLF and to develop a simple scoring system to improve diagnostic efficiency.
This was a retrospective study. Procalcitonin (PCT), white blood cells (WBC), proportion of neutrophils (N%), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were examined. Logistic regression was used to select variables for the scoring models and receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis was used to evaluate the diagnostic value of different indices.
This study included 386 patients with ACLF, 169 (43.78%) of whom had bacterial infection on admission. The area under the ROC (AUROC) of PCT, CRP, WBC and N% for the diagnosis of bacterial infection ranged from 0.637 to 0.692, with no significant difference between them. Logistic regression showed that only N%, PCT, and CRP could independently predict infection. A novel scoring system (infection score) comprised of N%, PCT and CRP was developed. The AUROC of the infection score was 0.740, which was significantly higher than that for the other four indices (infection score vs N%, PCT, CRP, and WBC, P = 0.0056, 0.0001, 0.0483 and 0.0008, respectively). The best cutoff point for the infection score was 4 points, with a sensitivity of 78.05%, a specificity of 55.29%, a positive predictive value of 57.91% and a negative predictive value of 76.16%.
The infection score is a simple and useful tool for discriminating bacterial infection in ACLF.
Core tip: This is a retrospective study evaluating the diagnostic value of widely used biomarkers for infection, including procalcitonin (PCT), white blood cells, proportion of neutrophils (N%), and C-reactive protein (CRP) for bacterial infection in ACLF. The results showed that all four parameters did not perform well in ACLF, with no significant difference found among them. A novel scoring system was developed comprised of N%, PCT and CRP which demonstrated higher accuracy for bacterial infection in ACLF than the indicators used alone. Further validation of this scoring system is required in prospective studies.