BMC infectious diseases 2017 07 2117(1) 505 doi 10.1186/s12879-017-2601-8
Existing biomarkers such as AST, ALT and hematocrit have been associated with severe dengue but evidence are mixed. Recently, interests in creatine kinase as a dengue biomarker have risen. These biomarkers represent several underlying pathophysiological processes in dengue. Hence, we aimed to assess AST, ALT, CK and hematocrit in identification of severe dengue and to assess the correlational relationship amongst common biomarkers of dengue.
This was a retrospective cohort study of confirmed dengue patients who were warded in Kuala Lumpur Hospital between December 2014 and January 2015. CK, AST, ALT, hematocrit, platelet count, WBC and serum albumin were taken upon ward admission and repeated at timed intervals. Composite indices based on admission AST and ALT were analyzed. Correlation coefficients and coefficients of determination were computed.
Among the 365 cases reviewed, twenty-two (6%) patients had severe dengue. AST and ALT were found to be good at identification of severe dengue. The AST(2)/ALT composite index was the most accurate (AUC 0.83; 95% CI 0.73 – 0.93). Optimal cutoff was 402 with a sensitivity of 59.1% (95% CI: 36.4 – 79.3%) and specificity of 92.4% (95% CI: 89.1 – 95.0%). Modified cutoff of 653 had a sensitivity of 40.9% (95% CI: 20.7 – 63.7%) and specificity of 97.4% (95% CI: 95.1 – 98.8%). Our analyses also suggested that several underlying biological processes represented by biomarkers tested were unrelated despite occurring in the same disease entity. Also, markers of plasma leakage were discordant and AST was likely hepatic in origin.
The composite index AST(2)/ALT may be used as a marker for identification of severe dengue based on admission AST and ALT, with two choices of cutoff values, 402 and 653. AST is most likely of liver origin and CK does not provide additional value.