In order to establish the most reliable marker for distinguishing urinary tract infections (UTI) with and without renal parenchymal involvement (RPI), we recorded the clinical features and admission leukocyte count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and serum procalcitonin (PCT) in 57 children (including 43 girls) aged 2–108 months admitted with a first episode of UTI. RPI was evaluated by Tc-99m dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scintigraphy within 7 days of admission. To establish cut-off points for ESR, CRP, and PCT, we used receiver operating characteristics curves and compared the area under the curve for ESR, CRP, and PCT. Twenty-seven children were diagnosed as having RPI based on positive renal scintigraphy. A body temperature of >38°C, a history of diarrhea, and poor oral intake were more common in patients with RPI. ESR, CRP, and PCT, but not leukocyte count, were significantly higher in patients with RPI (P < 0.001). PCT was more sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of upper versus lower UTI than ESR and CRP. Using a cut-off value of 0.85 ng/ml, PCT had the best performance, with sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 89%, 97%, 96%, and 91% respectively. Serum PCT is a better marker than ESR, CRP, and leukocyte count for the early prediction of RPI in children with a first episode of UTI.
Urinary tract infections Renal parenchymal involvement Procalcitonin C-reactive protein Children
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