Background The aim of this study was to evaluate whether mean platelet volume (MPV) could be used for the diagnostic tool of community acquired pneumonia (CAP) and for making the decision for hospitalization.
Methods The computerized records of children aged 1 to 18 years who were diagnosed with CAP based on WHO criteria were evaluated. A standard protocol was followed, and patients with severe CAP were hospitalized. CAP patients were divided into two groups based on disease severity. The control group consisted of age- and gender-matched healthy children who attended the “Well-child” clinic during the study period. Values for hemoglobin, white blood cell count (WBC), platelet count, MPV and C-reactive protein (CRP) obtained on first presentation were recorded for each patient.
Results A total of 139 patients were diagnosed with CAP during the study period, 82 (58.9%) of which had severe disease, which required hospitalization, while the remaining 57 (41.4%) were followed-up as outpatients. The control group consisted of 61 healthy children. Patients with CAP had lower MPV values than their healthy counterparts (7.14±0.70 vs. 8.35±1.26 fL; p<0.001). Following ROC analysis, the cut-off value established for MPV was 8.05, which had a sensitivity of 91% and a specificity of 51% for making a diagnosis of CAP. Patients with severe CAP that required hospitalization had significantly higher CRP levels than those who were followed-up on an outpatient basis (p<0.001).
Conclusions Our findings suggest that MPV could be used for the diagnosis of CAP in children.