Purpose: Certain cytokines play important roles in the pathophysiology of meningitis. The main purpose of this study was to investigate if the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) could be diagnostic predictors of bacterial meningitis in children. Methods: CSF was obtained from 95 patients suspected with meningitis. These cases were classified to the bacterial meningitis (n∈=∈12), aseptic meningitis (n∈=∈41), and nonmeningitis (n∈=∈42) groups. The levels of IL-6 and IL-12 in CSF were measured using the enzyme-linked immmunosorbent assays test. Results: The CSF IL-6 levels in the bacterial meningitis group (45.2∈±∈50.0 pg/ml) were significantly higher than those in the aseptic meningitis group (12.9∈±∈10.2 pg/ml) and the nonmeningitis group (6.5∈±∈7.8 pg/ml; p∈<∈0.05). The CSF IL-12 levels in the bacterial meningitis group (69. 8∈±∈67.1 pg/ml) were significantly higher than those in the aseptic meningitis group (22.9∈±∈10.8 pg/ml) and the nonmeningitis group (15.3∈±∈11.2 pg/ml; p∈<∈0.05). With regard to diagnosis, the measurement of CSF IL-6 and IL-12 levels showed sensitivities of 96% and 96%, respectively, and specificities of 51% and 75%, respectively. Conclusion: It is suggested that the CSF IL-6 and IL-12 levels are useful markers for distinguishing bacterial meningitis from aseptic meningitis.
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