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Serum galactomannan for diagnosing invasive aspergillosis in pediatric patients: A meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND: The serum galactomannan (GM) assay is used to diagnose invasive aspergillosis (IA). We conducted a systematic review and analysis to estimate the overall accuracy of the serum GM test for diagnosing pediatric IA.

METHOD: A systematic literature review was conducted of all relevant studies published in PubMed and EMbase databases up to March 10, 2017. We selected and assessed articles that reported diagnostic data related to serum GM for diagnosis of pediatric IA. Pooled diagnostic odds ratios (DORs) and summary receiver operating characteristics (SROCs) were constructed with a cutoff value of 0.5. Additionally, pooled sensitivity (SEN), specificity (SPE), and positive and negative likelihood ratios (PLR and NLR, respectively) were estimated for summarizing overall test performance.

RESULTS: Seventeen studies were included in this systematic review. The total number of patients (age range 0-21 years old) was 1768, with 178 that had proven or probable IA. The pooled serum GM assay results, with a cutoff value of 0.5 for proven or probable IA, were DOR: 41.16 (95% confidence interval (CI) 21.48-78.86), SEN: 0.85 (95% CI 0.72-0.93), SPE: 0.88 (95% CI 0.80-0.93), PLR: 6.92 (95% CI 4.40-10.88), and NLR: 0.17 (95% CI 0.09-0.32). The SROC was 0.93.

CONCLUSION: Serum GM can be used to assist in diagnosis of proven or probable pediatric IA. However, serum GM test results should be interpreted in combination with clinical findings in pediatric IA cases, as the test results are not always sensitive or specific enough for pediatric IA.

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