Background/Purpose: Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common bacterial cause of community-acquired pneumonia in children. This study was designed to determine whether a newly designed urinary antigen test score correlated with severity of pneumococcal pneumonia in children. Methods: We recruited 119 children hospitalized with pneumonia diagnosed by positive urinary pneumococcal antigen test at the National Cheng Kung University Hospital from 2002 through 2007. The urinary antigen reactivity score was determined by the rate of the reaction time and intensity of the pneumococcal antigen-antibody band. The children were stratified into three groups according to total score: group I, 8; group II, 5-7; and group III, 2-4. Disease severity was based on clinical presentation and radiological and laboratory findings. Results: Patients in group I had significantly more respiratory distress (p = 0.01), oxygen desaturation (p = 0.04), febrile days (p = 0.03), pulmonary complications (p = 0.01), and bacteremia (p = 0.01), greater requirement for intensive care (p = 0.004), longer hospital stays (p < 0.001), and lower white blood cell counts (p = 0.01) than patients in group II or III. Conclusion: A new urinary pneumococcal antigen test score correlated well with the severity of pneumococcal pneumonia in children. It might provide helpful diagnostic and prognostic information.
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