Background: Vertigo and acute cerebral infarction (ACI) patients show similar symptoms such as dizziness and imbalance. This study was to investigate the diagnostic values of neutrophil counts and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in distinguishing patients with ACI from those with vertigo.
Methods: This retrospective study was performed and data were gathered from medical records of patients with vertigo symptoms from the Department of Emergency and Neurology Clinics who were admitted to the Fourth Affiliated Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine between August 2017 and January 2019. Of the 173 patients with vertigo symptoms, 111 non-ACI vertigo patients (vertigo group) and 62 cases diagnosed with ACI (ACI group) were enrolled in this study. The neutrophil counts, lymphocyte counts, platelet counts, NLR, and PLT to lymphocyte ratio (PLR) within 24 hours after admission were compared between the two groups. Student’s t-test of independent samples was adopted for the comparison of the mean between two groups. The neutrophil counts and NLR were evaluated by comparing the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) in distinguishing patients with ACI from those with vertigo. Comparison of AUC was performed using the Z-test.
Results: The neutrophil counts and NLR were significantly increased in the ACI group compared with the vertigo group (all p < 0.05), while there were no significant statistical differences of the lymphocyte counts, platelet counts, and PLR (all p > 0.05); moreover, AUC in distinguishing patients with ACI from those with vertigo was 0.647 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.570 to 0.718) for neutrophil counts and 0.639 (95% CI, 0.562 to 0.710) for NLR, but there was no significant statistical difference (p > 0.05); finally, the cutoff values were 3.1 x 109/L in distinguishing patients with ACI from those with vertigo (specificity 41.44% and sensitivity 83.87%) for neutrophil counts and 2 (specificity 55.86% and sensitivity 67.74%) for NLR.
Conclusions: As easy-to-obtain inflammatory biomarkers, both neutrophil counts and NLR could demonstrate diagnostic values in distinguishing between ACI and vertigo.