Background :

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases in developed countries. However, the severity of pneumonia requiring hospitalization often makes the initial diagnosis difficult because of an equivocal clinical picture or interpretation of the chest film. The objective of the present study was to assess the usefulness of the plasma levels of mid-regional proadrenomedullin (MR-proADM) and mid-regional proatrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) in differentiating pneumonia from other lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs).

Methods :

A retrospective study was conducted. The plasma levels of MR-proADM and MR-proANP were measured in 85 patients hospitalized for LRTIs, 56 of whom with diagnosis of pneumonia and 29 with other LRTIs.

Results :

The patients with pneumonia had increased MR-proADM levels (median 1.46 nmol/L [IQR 25-75, 0.82-2.02 nmol/L]) compared with the patients with other LRTIs (median 0.88 nmol/mL [0.71-1.39 nmol/L]) (p= 0.04). However, the MR-proANP levels did not show differences between the groups. The optimal threshold of MR-proADM to predict pneumonia was 1.5 nmol/L, which yielded a sensitivity of 51.7% (95% CI, 38.0-65.3), a 79.3% specificity (95% CI, 60.3-92.0), and an odds ratio of 6.64 (95% CI, 1.32-32.85). The combination of this parameter with C-reactive protein in an “and” rule increased the specificity for detecting pneumonia significantly.

Conclusion :

MR-proADM levels (but not MR-proANP levels) are increased in patients with pneumonia although its discriminatory power is moderate.

Keywords: Adrenomedullin, atrial natriuretic peptide, biomarkers, diagnosis, pneumonia..
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