Leukocyte Esterase and Glucose Reagent Test Can Rule in and Rule out Septic Arthritis.
Background/aimSeptic arthritis (SA) requires rapid diagnosis and therapy to avoid joint damage. This study evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of leukocyte esterase (LE) and glucose (GLC) strip tests for diagnosing SA.
Patients and methodsSynovial fluids from 455 patients with atraumatic joint effusions were assessed prospectively over a 5-year period with LE and glucose strip tests. Results were compared to modified Newman criteria for diagnosing joint infections. Synovial fluid cultures, crystal, blood and synovial cell analyses were also performed.
ResultsForty-one patients had SA and 252 non-SA. A positive LE reading combined with negative glucose reading could detect SA with 100% specificity, 85% sensitivity, 100% positive predictive value (PPV) and 98% negative predictive value (NPV). Positive synovial LE reading alone detected SA with 82% specificity, 95% sensitivity, 47% PPV, and 99% NPV.
ConclusionCombined LE and glucose strip tests represent a low-cost tool for rapidly diagnosing or ruling out SA.
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