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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Critical Care 1/2018

The combination of procalcitonin and C-reactive protein or presepsin alone improves the accuracy of diagnosis of neonatal sepsis: a meta-analysis and systematic review

Critical Care > Ausgabe 1/2018
Lin Ruan, Guan-Yu Chen, Zhen Liu, Yun Zhao, Guang-Yu Xu, Shu-Fang Li, Chun-Ni Li, Lin-Shan Chen, Zheng Tao
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-018-2236-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Zhen Liu, Yun Zhao, Guang-Yu Xu, Shu-Fang Li, Chun-Ni Li, Lin-Shan Chen and Zheng Tao contributed equally to this work.



Sepsis is an important cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality; therefore, the early diagnosis of neonatal sepsis is essential.


Our aim was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of procalcitonin (PCT), C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin combined with C-reactive protein (PCT + CRP) and presepsin in the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis. We searched seven databases to identify studies that met the inclusion criteria. Two independent reviewers performed data extraction. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio (PLR), negative likelihood ratio (NLR), diagnostic odds ratio (DOR), area under curve (AUC), and corresponding 95% credible interval (95% CI) were calculated by true positive (TP), false positive (FP), false negative (FN), and true negative (TN) classification using a bivariate regression model in STATA 14.0 software. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, PLR, NLR, DOR, AUC, and corresponding 95% CI were the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes included the sensitivity and specificity in multiple subgroup analyses.


A total of 28 studies enrolling 2661 patients were included in our meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity of CRP (0.71 (0.63, 0.78)) was weaker than that of PCT (0.85 (0.79, 0.89)), PCT + CRP (0.91 (0.84, 0.95)) and presepsin (0.94 (0.80, 0.99)) and the pooled NLR of presepsin (0.06 (0.02, 0.23)) and PCT + CRP (0.10 (0.05, 0.19)) were less than CRP (0.33 (0.26, 0.42)), and the AUC for presepsin (0.99 (0.98, 1.00)) was greater than PCT + CRP (0.96 (0.93, 0.97)), CRP (0.85 (0.82, 0.88)) and PCT (0.91 (0.89, 0.94)). The results of the subgroup analysis showed that 0.5–2 ng/mL may be the appropriate cutoff interval for PCT. A cut-off value > 10 mg/L for CRP had high sensitivity and specificity.


The combination of PCT and CRP or presepsin alone improves the accuracy of diagnosis of neonatal sepsis. However, further studies are required to confirm these findings.
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