Septic versus inflammatory arthritis: discriminating the ability of serum inflammatory markers.

Rheumatology International

PubMedID: 22447329

Talebi-Taher M, Shirani F, Nikanjam N, Shekarabi M. Septic versus inflammatory arthritis: discriminating the ability of serum inflammatory markers. Rheumatol Int. 2013;33(2):319-24.
Early diagnosis of septic arthritis is very important. Few studies showed diagnostic accuracy of serum inflammatory markers in septic arthritis. The aim of our study was to compare the serum and synovial fluid markers [procalcitonin, serum IL-6, TNF-a, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, synovial fluid white blood cell counts and PMN percentage] in septic and inflammatory arthritis. Seventy-five patients, including 25 and 50 septic and non-septic arthritis, were enrolled in the study. The serum and synovial fluid markers [procalcitonin, serum IL-6, TNF-a, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, synovial fluid white blood cell counts, and PMN percentage] were compared in septic and inflammatory arthritis. Patients with septic arthritis had significantly elevated levels of procalcitonin, serum TNF-a, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, synovial fluid white blood cell counts, and PMN percentage in comparison with the inflammatory arthritis group (P < 0.00). Serum IL-6 level does not differ among the two groups. In a receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, synovial fluid WBC counts, PMN percentage, TNF-a, ESR, and serum PCT preformed best in distinguishing between septic and non-septic arthritis. Our study suggests that PCT can be used to diagnose the septic arthritis, but more studies warranted in order to determine the specificity and sensitivity of the test.