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A retrospective observational study to estimate use of biomarkers to predict severity of community acquired pneumonia in children
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  • Anam Bashir,
  • Raheel Khan,
  • Stephanie Thompson,
  • Manuel Caceres
Anam Bashir
Medical College of Wisconsin

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Raheel Khan
West Virginia University
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Stephanie Thompson
Charleston Area Medical Center
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Manuel Caceres
Charleston Area Medical Center
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Purpose: Multiple studies have investigated the role of biomarkers in predicting pneumonia severity in adults but minimal research exists for children. The aim of this study was to determine if the following biomarkers: white blood cell count (WBC), platelet count, C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin (PCT), neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio, neutrophil count, or band count predict community associated pneumonia (CAP) severity in children. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on pediatric patients (aged 60 days to 18 years) diagnosed with CAP, admitted to a regional, tertiary hospital. Patients were stratified into two severity cohorts, mild (no ICU care), and moderate /severe (required ICU care). Biomarker values were then compared between the severity cohorts and area under the curve (AUC), cut-off values, performance characteristics were calculated. Results: A total of 108 patients met inclusion criteria. Among the biomarkers examined, elevated levels of CRP (51.7 mg/L in mild vs. 104.8 mg/L in moderate/severe, p = 0.003, PCT (0.29 ng/ml in mild vs. 4.02 ng/ml in moderate/severe, p = 0.001) and band counts (8% in mild vs. 15% moderate/severe, p = 0.009) were associated with increased pneumonia severity. In predicting moderate/severe CAP, PCT had the highest AUC of 0.77 (p = 0.001) followed by bands AUC of 0.69 (p = 0.009) and CRP AUC of 0.67 (p = 0.003). The cut-off for PCT of 0.55ng/ml had a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 65%. A cut-off level of 53.1 mg/L for CRP had a sensitivity of 79% and specificity of 52%. A cut off level of 12.5% bands had a sensitivity of 61% and specificity of 71%. Conclusion: Biomarkers, in particular PCT, obtained early in hospitalization appear to perform as predictors for CAP severity in children and may be beneficial in guiding CAP management