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Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio as a Potential Early Marker of Antibiotic Resistance in Patients with Infected Cirrhotic Ascites by Yasin Sahinturk, Ayhan Hilmi Cekin

Background: To evaluate the role of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in identification and management of infected ascites among patients with cirrhosis.
Methods: A total of 439 patients (mean (SD) age: 64.5 (± 12.7) years, 63.3% were males) hospitalized with cirrhotic ascites were included in this retrospective study. Data on patient demographics, etiology of cirrhosis, type of ascites (sterile ascites, infected ascites), culture findings treatment response (antibiotic resistance vs. sensitivity) and baseline (Day 0), Day 1 and Day 2 levels for serum C-reactive protein (CRP; mg/L), and NLR were recorded. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve was plotted to determine performance of % change from baseline NLR on Day 1 in identifying treatment response.
Results: In patients with infected ascites, antibiotic resistant patients had significantly higher Day 1 (6.9 (1.9 - 74.9) vs. 4.9 (1.1 - 51.1), p = 0.001) and Day 2 (8.0 (2.6 - 75.9) vs. 4.0 (1.1 - 40.3), p = 0.000) levels for NLR as compared with antibiotic sensitive patients, while the two groups had similar baseline (Day 0) NLR values (5.8 (1.1 - 62.3) vs. 5.7 (1.1 - 72.3), p = 0.969). ROC analysis revealed less than 0.93% decrease from baseline NLR on Day 1 (AUC (95% CI): 0.852 (0.799 - 0.895), p < 0.001) to be a potential marker of antibiotic resistance with a sensitivity of 87.72% and specificity of 88.50%.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate percent change from baseline NLR on Day 1 to be a potential early marker of antibiotic resistance in patients with infected cirrhotic ascites. Our findings emphasize the role of determining NLR levels in earlier recognition of treatment failure and thus prompt modification of antibiotic treatment in cirrhotic patients with infected ascites.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2018.180215