Objectives: To assess the performance of the (1,3)-β-D-glucan (BDG) detection assay in a large cohort of patients with suspected candidemia who were admitted to non-intensive care unit hospital wards.
Methods: This observational, retrospective cohort study was conducted in a 1,100-bed university hospital in Rome, where an infectious disease consultation team has been operational. Two groups of patients were included in the analysis: Group 1, patients with Candida bloodstream infection (BSI) who had at least one BDG test performed ±48 hours from the first positive blood culture (Candida BSI Group) and Group 2, patients with risk factors for candidemia who had at least one BDG test but had negative blood cultures (Control Group). Both Group 1 and Group 2 did not receive prior antifungal therapy. Different BDG cutoff values were considered: 80, 200, 300, 400, and ≥500 pg/mL. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve were calculated.
Results: A total of 1,296 patients were studied. Of them, 100 patients (candidemic) were in Group 1 and the remaining 1,196 patients (controls) were in Group 2. There were no differences in demographic characteristics between patients of the two groups. According to the above cutoff values, sensitivity (%) and specificity (%) of the BDG assay ranged from 91 to 60.7 and 87.7 to 97.8, respectively, whereas the PPV (%) and NPV (%) ranged from 38.2 to 68.3 and 99.1 to 97.0, respectively.
Conclusion: Serum BDG has a very high NPV in a population witĥ10% prevalence of candidemia. This NPV may support decisions to discontinue antifungal therapy in those patients who were empirically treated because of the suspect of candidemia.