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The diagnostic value of the neutrophil left shift in predicting inflammatory and infectious disease


Seebach, J D; Morant, R; Rüegg, R; Seifert, Burkhardt; Fehr, J (1997). The diagnostic value of the neutrophil left shift in predicting inflammatory and infectious disease. American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 107(5):582-591.

Abstract

The use of neutrophil left-shift parameters in the diagnosis of inflammatory and infective disease (ID) was evaluated. The level of C-reactive protein (CRP), currently the best quantitative parameter of inflammation, was used as the gold standard. Of 292 patients, 230 (79%) had a level of CRP of 1.0 mg/dL or greater and were classified as having inflammation, whereas 62 (21%) had normal levels. The neutrophil band count in each patient was determined by microscopic examination of 200 WBCs. The diagnostic value of the band count as an indicator for ID was evaluated in comparison to the WBC count, the neutrophil count, and the left-shift indicators of two automated hematologic analyzers, H*1 Technicon (Bayer Technicon Instruments, Tarrytown, NY) and Coulter MAX M (Coulter Electronics, Hialeah, Fla). When receiver operating characteristics were used, the band count was superior to the immature to total neutrophil count (I/T) ratio, the total WBC count, and the neutrophil count. The sensitivity and specificity in identifying ID at designated cutoff points were as follows: band count of 20% or greater of total WBC count (53% and 79%, respectively), I/T ratio of 0.25 or greater (59% and 63%), total WBC count of 9.6 x 10(6)/mL or greater (68% and 56%), and neutrophil count of 8.0 x 10(6)/mL or greater (60% and 58%). The performance of the H*1 Technicon left-shift flag was similar but slightly inferior to the band count (sensitivity, 44%; specificity, 79%), whereas the Coulter MAX M flags had a clearly higher sensitivity (79%) and lower specificity (53%). In addition, microscopic evaluation to determine the presence of reactive morphologic changes in neutrophils, such as toxic granules, Döhle bodies, and cytoplasmic vacuoles, had a high sensitivity (80%) but a low specificity (58%) in predicting ID. The diagnostic value of both microscopic and automated neutrophil left-shift parameters as indicators for ID is limited. Morphologic changes in neutrophils, however, either have a high specificity (band count) or a high sensitivity (toxic signs) in predicting ID and therefore may be a clinically useful tool.

Abstract

The use of neutrophil left-shift parameters in the diagnosis of inflammatory and infective disease (ID) was evaluated. The level of C-reactive protein (CRP), currently the best quantitative parameter of inflammation, was used as the gold standard. Of 292 patients, 230 (79%) had a level of CRP of 1.0 mg/dL or greater and were classified as having inflammation, whereas 62 (21%) had normal levels. The neutrophil band count in each patient was determined by microscopic examination of 200 WBCs. The diagnostic value of the band count as an indicator for ID was evaluated in comparison to the WBC count, the neutrophil count, and the left-shift indicators of two automated hematologic analyzers, H*1 Technicon (Bayer Technicon Instruments, Tarrytown, NY) and Coulter MAX M (Coulter Electronics, Hialeah, Fla). When receiver operating characteristics were used, the band count was superior to the immature to total neutrophil count (I/T) ratio, the total WBC count, and the neutrophil count. The sensitivity and specificity in identifying ID at designated cutoff points were as follows: band count of 20% or greater of total WBC count (53% and 79%, respectively), I/T ratio of 0.25 or greater (59% and 63%), total WBC count of 9.6 x 10(6)/mL or greater (68% and 56%), and neutrophil count of 8.0 x 10(6)/mL or greater (60% and 58%). The performance of the H*1 Technicon left-shift flag was similar but slightly inferior to the band count (sensitivity, 44%; specificity, 79%), whereas the Coulter MAX M flags had a clearly higher sensitivity (79%) and lower specificity (53%). In addition, microscopic evaluation to determine the presence of reactive morphologic changes in neutrophils, such as toxic granules, Döhle bodies, and cytoplasmic vacuoles, had a high sensitivity (80%) but a low specificity (58%) in predicting ID. The diagnostic value of both microscopic and automated neutrophil left-shift parameters as indicators for ID is limited. Morphologic changes in neutrophils, however, either have a high specificity (band count) or a high sensitivity (toxic signs) in predicting ID and therefore may be a clinically useful tool.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:May 1997
Deposited On:15 Oct 2015 14:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:26
Publisher:American Society for Clinical Pathology
ISSN:0002-9173
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://ajcp.ascpjournals.org/
PubMed ID:9128272

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