Comparison of the diagnostic accuracy of monocyte distribution width and procalcitonin in sepsis cases in the emergency department: a prospective cohort study

BACKGROUND Early diagnosis and treatment of patients with sepsis reduce mortality significantly. In terms of exploring new diagnostic tools of sepsis, monocyte distribution width (MDW), as part of the white blood cell (WBC) differential count, was first reported in 2017. MDW greater than 20 and abnormal WBC count together provided a satisfactory accuracy and was proposed as a novel diagnostic tool of sepsis. This study aimed to compare MDW and procalcitonin (PCT)'s diagnostic accuracy on sepsis in the emergency department.
METHODS This was a single-center prospective cohort study. Laboratory examinations including complete blood cell and differentiation count (CBC/DC), MDW, PCT were obtained while arriving at the ED. We divided patients into non-infection, infection without systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), infection with SIRS, and sepsis-3 groups. This study's primary outcome is the sensitivity and specificity of MDW, PCT, and MDW + WBC in differentiating septic and non-septic patients. In addition, the cut-off value for MDW was established to maximize sensitivity at an optimal level of specificity.
RESULTS From May 2019 to September 2020, 402 patients were enrolled for data analysis. Patient number in each group was: non-infection 64 (15.9%), infection without SIRS 82 (20.4%), infection with SIRS 202 (50.2%), sepsis-3 15 (7.6%). The AUC of MDW, PCT, and MDW + WBC to predict infection with SIRS was 0.753, 0.704, and 0.784, respectively (p  CONCLUSIONS In conclusion, MDW is a more sensitive biomarker than PCT in predicting infection-related SIRS and sepsis-3 in the ED. MDW 

as reported in: BMC Infect Dis. 2022 Jan 4; 22(1): 26