Inflammation Research

, Volume 66, Issue 10, pp 863–870 | Cite as

Delta neutrophil index (DNI) as a novel diagnostic and prognostic marker of infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Jae Hyon Park
  • Hyeong Ju Byeon
  • Keum Hwa Lee
  • Jong Wook Lee
  • Andreas Kronbichler
  • Michael Eisenhut
  • Jae Il ShinEmail author
Original Research Paper



Delta neutrophil index (DNI) representing the number of immature granulocytes is an emerging marker used in diagnosis of infections and prediction of mortality in infected patients. The present study evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of DNI as a predictive and prognostic factor in infected patients.


We performed a PubMed search on January 1st, 2017 and identified studies that evaluated DNI as either a predictive or prognostic factor in infected patients. Studies with appropriate information to construct 2 × 2 contingency tables were extracted. We calculated pooled sensitivity and specificity. Meta-analysis of the multivariate logistic regression data set was performed to assess whether DNI functions as an independent factor.


Overall, 12 articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria and a total of 499 cases and 9549 controls were examined. As a predictive factor of infection, DNI’s pooled sensitivity was 0.67 (95% CI 0.62–0.71, I 2 = 86.0%) and pooled specificity was 0.94 (95% CI 0.94–0.95, I 2 = 92.8%). Area under the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve was 0.89. As a prognostic factor for death in infected patients, DNI’s pooled sensitivity was 0.70 (95% CI 0.56–0.81, I 2 = 0.0%) and pooled specificity was 0.78 (95% CI 0.73–0.83, I 2 = 26.6%). Area under the ROC curve was 0.84. Meta-analysis of the multivariate logistic regression data set showed insignificant results.


DNI is a potentially useful diagnostic tool and predicts mortality among infected patients and should be more widely used in the clinical practice.


Delta neutrophil index DNI Infection Diagnosis Prognosis 


Author contributors

JHP and HJB had the idea for and designed the study, searched the scientific literature, collected, statistically analyzed and interpreted data, and wrote and critically revised the report. KHL drafted and critically revised the report. JWL analyzed, interpreted data, drafted, and critically revised the report. AK and ME critically analyzed the report and revised it comprehensively. JIS had the idea for and designed the study, analyzed and interpreted the data, drafted and critically revised the report, supervised the study, and gave administrative, technical, and material support.

Compliance with ethical standards



Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 840 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Institute of Kidney Disease Research, Department of Pediatrics, Severance Children’s HospitalYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Jincheon Sungmo HospitalJincheonKorea
  4. 4.Research Institute of Bacterial ResistanceYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  5. 5.Department of Internal Medicine IV (Nephrology and Hypertension)Medical University InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsLuton & Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation TrustLutonUK

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