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Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of many diseases. However, the relevance between RDW and neonatal sepsis (NS) have not reached a consensus yet; the perform of RDW in the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis is still not clear. The aim of this meta-analysis was to estimate the significance of RDW in neonatal sepsis and the perform of RDW in diagnosis of neonatal sepsis. We used Pubmed, Embase, Web of science, CNKI and Google academic database to find all articles that met the inclusion criteria until July 1, 2020. Fifteen eligible studies involving 1362 newborns were included in the meta-analysis after two independent investigators read the title, abstract and full text in detail. The pooled result of this meta-analysis showed that RDW was significantly higher in the NS group than in the control group (WMD=3.224; 95%CI: 2.359-4.090, P<0.001). In addition, the overall pooled sensitivity, specificity, PLR, NLR and DOR were 0.88 (95%CI:0.66-0.96), 0.90 (95%CI:0.65-0.98), 9.2 (95%CI:2.1-40.3), 0.14(95%CI:0.04-0.43) and 66.9 (95%CI:8.73-513.26), respectively. The area under the SROC curve (AUC) was 0.95 (95%CI:0.93-0.96). The meta-analysis demonstrated that newborns with sepsis had an elevated RDW level than healthy controls. RDW levels have significant correlated with neonatal sepsis; and RDW can be used as a cheap and satisfactory diagnostic biomarker for neonatal sepsis with a relatively high performance.


Zhi-Yuan Liu, Hui-Zhen Jiang, Li Wang, Ming-Xiao Chen, Hong-Tao Wang, Jia-Xiang Zhang. Diagnostic accuracy of red blood cell distribution width for neonatal sepsis. Minerva pediatrics. 2022 Apr;74(2):202-212

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PMID: 35511632

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