Sepsis Tests Compared: More Trials Needed

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A systematic review and economic evaluation of rapid tests to identify bacteria and fungi in the bloodstream has determined that no definite conclusions can be made on their clinical effectiveness or cost-effectiveness.

The study, from by the UK National Institute for Health Research, evaluated research on SeptiFast, SepsisTest and IRIDICA. 66 studies were included in the analysis, but most had deficiencies in reporting and study quality, according to the report's authors. The analysis showed that the three tests appear to have higher specificity values than sensitivity values.

The authors write that it is not anticipated that negative tests in isolation would be acted on in clinical practice were an intervention introduced. Test characteristic data may not be reliable and should be treated with caution, they note. The literature review showed that these tests can decrease the time at which the clinician received the result and decrease the time at which some patients changed to a better treatment within clinical trials. These benefits may not be realised in clinical practice. Key benefits such as reduced mortality and length of stay and reduced costs have not yet been proven in clinical trials. The authors note that evidence based on expert clinical judgement suggests that the tests are likely to be beneficial to patients, but this needs to be proven within appropriate studies.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information
Image Credit: Health Technology Assessment

References:

Stevenson M, Pandor A, Martyn-St James M, Rafia R, Uttley L, Stevens J et al. (2016) Sepsis: the LightCycler SeptiFast Test MGRADEÂ, SepsiTest and IRIDICA BAC BSI assay for rapidly identifying bloodstream bacteria and fungi: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess, 20(46). <>

Published on : Sat, 6 Aug 2016


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Sepsis Tests, mortality A systematic review and economic evaluation of rapid tests to identify bacteria and fungi in the bloodstream has determined that no definite conclusions can be made on their clinical effectiveness or cost-effectiveness.

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