Evaluation of Discordant Results between FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel and Conventional Testing in Pediatric Patients: A Multisite Retrospective Cohort Study

Maheswari Ekambaram, Aleisha Nabower, Prabi Rajbhandari, Jaclyn Eisenberg, Nathaniel Goodrich, Krow Ampofo, Nathan S. Gollehon, Kimberly C. Martin, Elizabeth Lyden, Jessica Snowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis panel (MEP) has an 11% false-positive and 2.2% false-negative rate compared with conventional testing. We describe clinical characteristics, treatment decisions, and outcomes in children with discordant results between MEP and conventional testing. Methods: We conducted a multisite review of patients ≤ 18 years with suspected central nervous system infection and positive results by MEP or conventional testing (cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] culture, herpes simplex virus [HSV] polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and enterovirus [EV] PCR). Descriptive results are provided for patients with discordant results. Comparison between group 1 (MEP and CSF culture positive) and group 2 (MEP positive, CSF culture negative, or showing a different pathogen) was made by Mann-Whitney test for continuous and Fisher's test for categorical variables. Results: A total of 355 patients had at least one pathogen identified. More than half of patients with bacterial pathogens identified that are included in the MEP had discordant results (30/52; 58%). There were 28 samples with bacterial pathogen identified on MEP only, 1 with different bacterial pathogens on MEP and culture, and 1 with Escherichia coli identified on CSF culture only. Patients in group 1 were more likely to have CSF pleocytosis, elevated CSF protein, and decreased CSF glucose than group 2 (P <. 05). Two patients were HSV positive by MEP while HSV negative by PCR. Ten patients had discordant results between MEP and EV PCR. Conclusions: Discordant results between MEP and conventional testing are common. Treatment decisions based on a positive MEP should be made in the appropriate clinical context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-141
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

Keywords

  • central nervous system
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • enterovirus
  • herpes simplex virus
  • pediatric meningitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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