Background: Leucine-rich alpha-2 glycoprotein (LRG) is a novel biomarker for inflammatory diseases. We evaluated the levels of LRG, interleukin (IL)-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of children with meningitis. Methods: CSF samples from 10 patients with bacterial meningitis (BM) and 10 with aseptic meningitis (AM) were evaluated. Samples from 10 patients with febrile status (FS) were used as controls. LRG levels were measured using a two-site enzyme immunoassay. IL-6 and TNF-α levels were measured using a multiplex bead-based assay. CSF examination of patients with BM at the convalescent stage was also conducted. Results: LRG and TNF-α levels in patients with BM, and IL-6 levels in patients with BM and AM showed significant increase compared with those in FS. Patients with BM at the convalescent stage showed significantly diminished LRG and IL-6 levels. LRG and IL-6 levels in CSF were indicated to be effective predictors for BM (LRG, AUC = 0.91; IL-6, AUC = 0.85). Only LRG levels showed a significant difference between patients with BM and AM (AUC = 0.78, P = 0.034). Conclusions: LRG level could be a sensitive inflammatory biomarker for inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, comparable with IL-6 level.
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