Diagnostic Evaluation of Hematological Sepsis Score and Presepsin in Neonatal Sepsis


Background: Early detection of neonatal sepsis and categorization of patients based on clinical severity is not yet effectively achieved. Some hematological parameters are used to formulate a hematological scoring system (HSS) and a modified hematological scoring system (MHSS) to diagnose neonatal sepsis. A promising biomarker: Presepsin, or Soluble Cluster of Differentiation 14 SubType (sCD14-ST), is a proteolysis product of CD14 produced after immune activation during infections. The purpose of this research is to assess the performance of both hematological sepsis scores and serum presepsin level in neonatal sepsis and compare them to C-reactive protein (CRP) as diagnostic tools and predictors of mortality.

Materials and Methods: This case-control study comprised two groups, one group comprised 51 neonates who were further subgrouped into suspected & proved sepsis, along with 30 uninfected neonates as the control group. Both groups were subjected to the calculation of HSS and MHSS, serum presepsin levels, CRP measurement, and blood culture and assessed for clinical severity and mortality.

Results: Hematological sepsis scores and presepsin levels were significantly higher in the sepsis group (P <0.001). Presepsin showed the best diagnostic performance at > 0.5 ng/ml (AUC 0.979; sensitivity of 94.1% and specificity of 100%). While HSS and MHSS at a cutoff value > 1 achieved comparable specificity, lower sensitivity, 72.6% for the former and 76.5% for the later was noted. Presepsin also was significantly higher in the dead group (P<0.004) with the best predictive performance over CRP at cutoff value >1.9 ng/ml (AUC 0.838; sensitivity of 85.7% and specificity of 79.6%).

Conclusion: Hematological sepsis scores and presepsin were useful diagnostic tools in neonatal sepsis, with presepsin as a good predictor of mortality comparable to CRP.

Keywords: Blood Cell Count, Neonatal Sepsis, Presepsin Protein, Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome