J Surg Res. 2023 Sep 8;293:14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2023.07.047. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: In acute cholangitis (AC), monitoring treatment response to antimicrobial therapy allows for making timely decisions on early biliary decompression. The aims of this study were to compare the discriminating powers of traditional blood inflammatory markers and propose new inflammatory markers that have a better ability to distinguish between patients with and without biliary tract infection.
METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study. Patients who underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreaticography for AC and those without biliary tract inflammation were randomly selected in the 4:3 ratio of their hospital admissions from our hospital endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreaticography database. The exclusion criterion was the absence of C-reactive protein (CRP) measurements.
RESULTS: The discriminating powers of the neutrophil count, lymphocytes, albumin, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, and CRP were superior to that of white blood cell (P1 < 0.005; P2 = 0.004; P3 < 0.0005; P4 < 0.0005; P5 < 0.0005). In monitoring treatment response in AC, lymphocyte count, albumin, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, and CRP were better than neutrophil count (P6 = 0.037, P7 < 0.005, P8, 9 < 0.0005). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of CRP was higher than the AUC for lymphocytes, 96% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 94-98%) versus 81% (95% CI: 76-86%) (P < 0.0005), and larger than the AUC for albumin, 88% (95% CI: 84-92%) (P < 0.0005), indicating a greater discriminating power of CRP. However, the discriminating power of CRP-to-lymphocyte ratio (CLR) was more than that for CRP (P = 0.006) but equal to CRP-to-(lymphocytes∗albumin) ratio (CLAR) (P = 0.249). The AUCs of CLR and CLAR were both 98% (95% CI: 96-99%).
CONCLUSIONS: CLR and CLAR have superior discriminating powers than traditional inflammatory markers used for monitoring treatment response in AC.