C-reactive protein as a marker of serious bacterial infections in hospitalized febrile infants

Efraim Bilavsky, Havatzelet Yarden-Bilavsky, Shai Ashkenazi, Jacob Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the potential predictive power of C-reactive protein (CRP) as a marker of serious bacterial infection (SBI) in hospitalized febrile infants aged ≤3 months. Patients and Methods: Data on blood CRP levels were collected prospectively on admission for all infants aged ≤3 months who were hospitalized for fever from 2005 to 2008. The patients were divided into two groups by the presence or absence of findings of SBI. Results: A total of 892 infants met the inclusion criteria, of whom 102 had a SBI. Mean CRP level was significantly higher in the infants who had a bacterial infection than in those who did not (5.3 ± 6.3 mg/dL vs. 1.3 ± 2.2 mg/dL, p < 0.001). The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.74 (95% CI: 0.67-0.80) for CRP compared to 0.70 (95% CI: 0.64-0.76) for white blood cell (WBC) count. When analyses were limited to predicting bacteremia or meningitis only, the AUCs for CRP and WBC were 0.81 (95% CI: 0.66-0.96) and 0.63 (95% CI: 0.42-0.83), respectively. Conclusion: C-reactive protein is a valuable laboratory test in the assessment of febrile infants aged ≤3 months old and may serve as a better diagnostic marker of SBI than total WBC count.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1776-1780
Number of pages5
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteremia
  • C-reactive protein
  • Serious bacterial infection
  • Urinary track infection
  • White blood cell count


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