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

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

Method: 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.