C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate in differential diagnosis between infections and neoplastic fever in patients with solid tumours and lymphomas

Support Care Cancer. 2001 Mar;9(2):124-8. doi: 10.1007/s005200000181.

Abstract

The goals of our work were to study prospectively the possibility of differentiating between infections and neoplastic fever in adult cancer patients on admission, by means of C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or of follow-up CRP values. Patients and methods were as follows: the final infection group consisted of 56 patients and the noninfection group of 10 patients with neoplastic fever; CRP was measured on days 0, 3 and 5 and ESR at entry. The main results showed that the median CRP did not differ between the groups (91 mg/l vs 102 mg/l) on entry, while the ESR level was higher in the neoplastic fever group (50 mm/H vs 89 mm/H, P = 0.023). On admission, both markers had low area under receiver operating characteristic curves for the demonstration of infection (CRP 0.42; ESR 0.27). The CRP level dropped significantly in the infection group within 5 days (P = 0.009). We conclude that neither of the markers was useful in differentiating between infections and neoplastic fever on admission, but that the follow-up CRP values were advantageous in this respect.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / complications*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric

Substances

  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein