Background and aims Neonatal sepsis remains an important and potentially life-threatening clinical syndrome and a major cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity, particularly in preterm infants. The aim of this study to investigate whether values of base excess before the onset of clinical signs and symptoms of sepsis indicate infection in the early diagnosis of neonatal sepsis.
Methods A total of 118 infants were enrolled. The infants were classified into two groups: group 1 (sepsis, n = 49) and group 2 (control, n = 69). Blood gas analysis investigated for screening of neonatal sepsis.
Results A total of 49 infants with neonatal sepsis and 69 healthy controls were enrolled. A comparison of markers of sepsis revealed C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 level to be significantly higher and pH, pCO2, HCO3 and base excess values to be significantly lower in newborns with sepsis compared healthy controls (p < 0.01). The optimum cut-off value in the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis was found to be -5 mmol/L for base excess. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of this base excess cut-off for neonatal sepsis were 75, 91, 86 and 84% respectively.
Conclusions This is the first study to determine the relationship between the decrease value of base excess and early stage of neonatal sepsis. If the value of base excess <-5 mmol/L without an underlying another reason, may need close follow up of infants for neonatal sepsis and it may help early diagnosis.