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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, Joachim W.

Editorial Board Member: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Greenough, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, M.J.M.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Lee, Ben H. / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Romero, Roberto / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland

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Diagnostic value of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein on early onset bacterial infection in preterm neonates with respiratory distress

Maria Aparecida C. Rego1 / Francisco Eulógio Martinez1 / Jorge Elias Jr2 / Marisa Márcia Mussi-Pinhata1

1Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

2Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Corresponding author: Dr. Marisa Márcia Mussi-Pinhata Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto University of São Paulo Av Bandeirantes 3900 Ribeirão Preto 14049900 Brazil

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine. Volume 38, Issue 5, Pages 527–533, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: 10.1515/jpm.2010.071, May 2010

Publication History

Published Online:


Aims: To evaluate the C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) as diagnostic tools for early onset infection in preterm infants with early respiratory distress (RD).

Methods: CRP and IL-6 were quantified at identification of RD and 24 h after in 186 newborns. Effects of maternal hypertension, mode of delivery, Apgar score, birth weight, gestational age, mechanical ventilation, being small for gestational age (SGA), and the presence of infection were analyzed.

Results: Forty-four infants were classified as infected, 42 as possibly infected, and 100 as uninfected. Serum levels of IL-6 (0 h), CRP (0 h), and CRP (24 h), but not IL-6 (24 h) were significantly higher in infected infants compared to the remaining groups. The best test for identification of infection was the combination of IL-6 (0 h) 36 pg/dL and/or CRP (24 h) 0.6 mg/dL, which yielded 93% sensitivity and 37% specificity. The presence of infection and vaginal delivery independently increased IL-6 (0 h), CRP (0 h) and CRP (24 h) levels. Being SGA also increased the CRP (24 h) levels. IL-6 (24 h) was independently increased by mechanical ventilation.

Conclusions: The combination of IL-6 (0 h) and/or CRP (24 h) is helpful for excluding early onset infection in preterm infants with RD but the poor specificity limits its potential benefit as a diagnostic tool.

Keywords: C-reactive protein; cytokine; early onset neonatal sepsis; interleukin-6; neonatal respiratory distress syndrome; neonatal sepsis; preterm infant

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