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Iranian Journal of Pediatrics
Tehran University of Medical Sciences Press
ISSN: 1018-4406
EISSN: 1018-4406
Vol. 21, No. 4, 2011, pp. 411-417
Bioline Code: pe11071
Full paper language: English
Document type: Review Article
Document available free of charge

Iranian Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2011, pp. 411-417

 en The Role of IL-6 for Predicting Neonatal Sepsis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Shahkar, Lobat; Keshtkar, Abbasali; Mirfazeli, Arezou; Ahani, Ali & Roshandel, Gholamreza


Objective: Neonatal sepsis (NS) is a common and life-threatening disorder in infants. Previous studies showed that interleukin-6 (IL-6) may be a valid non-invasive and rapid method for diagnosis of NS. We conducted this review to assess the validity of IL-6 for predicting NS.
Methods: This was a systematic review with meta-analysis. Embase, Medline and Web of Science databases were searched between January 1990 and December 2009. The search terms used were “cytokine”, “neonate”, “sepsis” and “interleukin-6". We used standard methods recommended for meta analyses of diagnostic test evaluations. The analysis was based on a summary ROC (SROC) curve. Meta-regression analysis was used to assess the effects of some confounding factors on the results of meta-analysis. Potential presence of publication bias was tested using funnel plots and the Egger test.
Findings: Meta-analysis was performed on 13 publications including 353 infants with sepsis and 691 control infants. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of IL-6 was 0.79 and 0.84, respectively. The maximum joint sensitivity and specificity (i.e., the Q value) in SROC curve was 0.82 and the area under curve (AUC) was 0.89 (95% CI: 0.84-0.94). Meta-regression analysis showed that the diagnostic accuracy of IL-6 was not affected by confounding variables. The evaluation of publication bias showed that the Egger test was not significant (P=0.07).
Conclusion: IL-6 seems to be a valid marker for predicting NS. It may be considered for early diagnosis of sepsis in neonatal care units.

Interlukin-6; Cytokines; Sepsis; Neonate; Meta-analysis

© Copyright 2011 Iran Journal of Pediatrics
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