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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 471463, 14 pages
Research Article

Tumor Necrosis Factor-α as a Diagnostic Marker for Neonatal Sepsis: A Meta-Analysis

1Systems Sepsis Team, Soochow University Affiliated Children’s Hospital, Suzhou 215003, China
2Center for Systems Biology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
3Suzhou Zhengxing Translational Biomedical Informatics Ltd., Taicang 215400, China

Received 15 August 2013; Accepted 3 October 2013; Published 11 February 2014

Academic Editors: B. Shen, J. Wang, and J. Wang

Copyright © 2014 Bokun Lv et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neonatal sepsis (NS) is an important cause of mortality in newborns and life-threatening disorder in infants. The meta-analysis was performed to investigate the diagnosis value of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) test in NS. Our collectible studies were searched from PUBMED, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library between March 1994 and August 2013. Accordingly, 347 studies were collected totally, in which 15 articles and 23 trials were selected to study the NS in our meta-analysis. The TNF-α test showed moderate accuracy of the diagnosis of NS both in early-onset neonatal sepsis (sensitivity = 0.66, specificity = 0.76, Q* = 0.74) and in late-onset neonatal sepsis (sensitivity = 0.68, specificity = 0.89, Q* = 0.87). We also found the northern hemisphere group in the test has higher sensitivity (0.84) and specificity (0.83). A diagnostic OR analysis found that the study population may be the major reason for the heterogeneity. Accordingly, we suggest that TNF-α is also a valuable marker in the diagnosis of NS.