Nosocomial bacterial meningitis requires timely treatment, but what is difficult is the prompt and accurate diagnosis of this disease. The aim of this study was to assess the potential role of decoy receptor 3 (DcR3) levels in the differentiation of bacterial meningitis from non-bacterial meningitis. A total of 123 patients were recruited in this study, among them 80 patients being with bacterial meningitis and 43 patients with non-bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis was confirmed by bacterial culture of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect the level of DcR3 in CSF. CSF levels of DcR3 were statistically significant between patients with bacterial meningitis and those with non-bacterial meningitis (p
< 0.001). A total of 48.75% of patients with bacterial meningitis received antibiotic >24 h before CSF sampling, which was much higher than that of non-bacterial meningitis. CSF leucocyte count yielded the highest diagnostic value, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) of 0.928, followed by DcR3. At a critical value of 0.201 ng/mL for DcR3, the sensitivity and specificity were 78.75% and 81.40% respectively. DcR3 in CSF may be a valuable predictor for differentiating patients with bacterial meningitis from those with non-bacterial meningitis. Further studies are needed for the validation of this study.
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