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Seyit Uyar and Mehmet Kok
Context: The endoscopic degree of injuries is the main finding for further management of caustic ingestions. However, if endoscopy cannot be performed quickly, clinicians decide on treatment and follow-up goals according to the signs and symptoms of the patient. The aim of this study was to determine the association of white blood cells (WBC), C-reactive protein (CRP) and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) with the degree of caustic injury and to evaluate whether NLR is able to predict the severity of injuries.
Materials and methods: A retrospective evaluation was made of a total of 190 patients with a mean age of 38.6 years. WBC, neutrophil, lymphocyte and CRP values and endoscopic findings of all patients at hospital admission were retrieved from hospital files. The association between WBC, NLR, CRP and endoscopic findings was evaluated.
Results: Endoscopy was normal in 28 of 119 patients (23.5%) and most patients (42 of 119 (35.3%) had only gastric involvement. NLR was significantly higher in patients with injuries than normal patients (p=0.010), whereas WBC and CRP not. NLR was also significantly higher in patients with both esophagus and gastric injuries compared to patients with no organ involvement (p<0.001). NLR, WBC and CRP were weakly correlated to the grade of involvement. In the ROC analysis, the AUC value was 0.914 (95% CI (0.85-0.96, p<0.001)) and the cut-off value for NLR was 8.71 with sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 91.7% for discriminating injuries as grade 0-1-2 from 3-4.
Conclusions: Higher NLR values showed widespread and severe involvement of caustic ingestion. NLR also seems to be a more reliable method to make a distinction between severe and mild injuries. It is an easily derived and inexpensive marker of inflammation and might guide the management of patients before endoscopic evaluation in emergency departments.