1 It has been reported as a sensitive biomarker of severe bacterial infection,2 and may help discriminate between pulmonary TB (PTB) and bacterial pneumonia because PCT does
not appear to be significantly elevated in PTB patients.3 and 4 With the usual cutoff of 0.5 ng/mL, most patients with PTB have PCT levels below the upper limit of normal.3 and 5 In addition, PCT can provide prognostic information and may be helpful in identifying patients having disseminated TB.4 and 5 C-reactive protein (CRP) is an acute-phase protein widely used as a biomarker of inflammation and tissue injury. A number of studies provided evidence for the application of pleural CRP as a diagnostic aid in TB among lymphocyte-predominant exudative effusion.6 Moreover, serum selleck chemicals llc CRP levels significantly
differed in patients with PTB and those with bacterial pneumonia,7 and positively correlated with the degree of disease activity in PTB.4 The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM-1) is a glycoprotein of the immunoglobulin superfamily and is specifically expressed on the surfaces of monocytes/macrophages and 17-AAG in vitro neutrophils.8 Its expression is increased in infectious diseases and is associated with the release of its soluble form, named sTREM-1, into the bloodstream and body fluid.9 Compared with bacterial or fungal infection, in which sTREM-1 is evidently upregulated, its role during mycobacterial infection remains debatable.10 While early studies indicated that the presence of mycobacteria does not lead to upregulation of sTREM-1,8 and 11 subsequent works demonstrated contradictory findings.10 and 12 Further, pleural ADP ribosylation factor sTREM-1 may have a role in differentiating pleural effusion due to bacterial and TB infection.13 and 14 Although each of the three biomarkers delivers some useful information for PTB patients, a direct comparison of them would further expand our knowledge. We, therefore, conducted the present study to measure serum PCT, CRP, and sTREM-1 levels to compare their clinical informative
value in the prediction of an unfavorable outcome and disease extent in patients with PTB. From June 2009 to December 2010, patients aged 20 years or older and diagnosed with culture-confirmed PTB in the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) and NTUH, Yun-Lin Branch were prospectively enrolled in this study. Culture-confirmed PTB was defined as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) isolated from sputum samples with the presence of new radiographic pulmonary infiltrates. Patients with HIV infection or with concomitant infection with pathogens other than MTB were excluded from the study. PTB patients were considered to have disseminated TB if they had concomitant TB infection of ≧2 non-contiguous organs 15; thus, pleural TB was considered a loco-regional disease rather than disseminated infection.