Invasive fungal infections (IFI) cause considerable morbidity and mortality in pediatric patients. Serum biomarkers such as 1,3-beta-D glucan (BDG) and galactomannan (GM) have been evaluated for the IFI diagnosis. However, most evidence regarding their utility is derived from studies in adult oncology patients. This systematic review aimed to compare the diagnostic accuracy of BDG and GM individually or in combination for diagnosing IFI in pediatric patients. PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, and Cochrane Library were searched until March 2019 for diagnostic studies evaluating both serum GM and BDG for diagnosing pediatric IFI. The pooled diagnostic odds ratio (DOR), specificity and sensitivity were computed. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve and area under the curve (AUC) were used for summarizing overall assay performance. Six studies were included in the meta-analysis. The summary estimates of sensitivity, specificity, pooled DOR, AUC of the GM assay for proven or probable IFI were 0.74, 0.76, 13.25, and 0.845. The summary estimates of sensitivity, specificity, pooled DOR, AUC of the BDG assay were 0.70, 0.69, 4.3, and 0.722. The combined predictive ability of both tests was reported in two studies (sensitivity: 0.67, specificity: 0.877). Four studies were performed in hematology-oncology patients, while two were retrospective studies from pediatric intensive care units (ICUs). In the subgroup of hematology-oncology patients, DOR of BDG remained similar at 4.25 but increased to 40.28 for GM. We conclude that GM and BDG have a modest performance for identifying IFI in pediatric patients. GM has a better accuracy over BDG. Combining both improves the specificity at the cost of sensitivity.
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology.