Crit Care. 2021 May 28;25(1):182. doi: 10.1186/s13054-021-03609-2.
BACKGROUND: Accurate biomarkers to diagnose infection are lacking. Studies reported good performance of pancreatic stone protein (PSP) to detect infection. The objective of the study was to determine the performance of PSP in diagnosing infection across hospitalized patients and calculate a threshold value for that purpose.
METHODS: A systematic search across Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and MEDLINE databases (1966-March 2019) for studies on PSP published in English using 'pancreatic stone protein', 'PSP', 'regenerative protein', 'lithostatin' combined with 'infection' and 'sepsis' found 44 records. The search was restricted to the five trials that evaluated PSP for the initial detection of infection in hospitalized adults. Individual patient data were obtained from the investigators of all eligible trials. Data quality and validity was assessed according to PRISMA guidelines. We choose a fixed-effect model to calculate the PSP cut-off value that best discriminates infected from non-infected patients.
RESULTS: Infection was confirmed in 371 of 631 patients. The median (IQR) PSP value of infected versus uninfected patients was 81.5 (30.0-237.5) versus 19.2 (12.6-33.57) ng/ml, compared to 150 (82.70-229.55) versus 58.25 (15.85-120) mg/l for C-reactive protein (CRP) and 0.9 (0.29-4.4) versus 0.15 (0.08-0.5) ng/ml for procalcitonin (PCT). Using a PSP cut-off of 44.18 ng/ml, the ROC AUC to detect infection was 0.81 (0.78-0.85) with a sensitivity of 0.66 (0.61-0.71), specificity of 0.83 (0.78-0.88), PPV of 0.85 (0.81-0.89) and NPV of 0.63 (0.58-0.68). When a model combining PSP and CRP was used, the ROC AUC improved to 0.90 (0.87-0.92) with higher sensitivity 0.81 (0.77-0.85) and specificity 0.84 (0.79-0.90) for discriminating infection from non-infection. Adding PCT did not improve the performance further.
CONCLUSIONS: PSP is a promising biomarker to diagnose infections in hospitalized patients. Using a cut-off value of 44.18 ng/ml, PSP performs better than CRP or PCT across the considered studies. The combination of PSP with CRP further enhances its accuracy.