Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio may predict mortality in community-acquired pneumonia

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All participants with a neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio greater than 28.3 died within 30 days.
All participants with a neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio greater than 28.3 died within 30 days.

(HealthDay News) — Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) can predict 30-day mortality for elderly adults with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), according to a study published online April 13 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Emanuela Cataudella, MD, from the University of Catania in Italy, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving 195 elderly adults admitted for CAP. The authors compared the accuracy and predictive value for 30-day mortality of traditional scores and NLR.

The researchers found that NLR predicted 30-day mortality (P <.001), with better performance for predicting prognosis than the Pneumonia Severity Index (P <.05); Confusion, Urea, Respiratory rate, Blood pressure, aged 65 and older (CURB-65); C-reactive protein; and white blood cell count (P <.001). There were no deaths in participants with a NLR below 11.12. Thirty-day mortality was 30% and 50%, respectively, for those with a NLR between 11.12 and 13.4, and for those with a NLR between 13.4 and 28.3. Within 30 days, all participants with a NLR above 28.3 died.

"In conclusion, NLR showed emerging prognostic value in predicting 30-day mortality," the authors write. "The NLR may provide clinicians with quick stratification of patients into different prognostic categories."


  1. Cataudella E, Giraffa CM, Di Marca S, et al. Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio: An emerging marker predicting prognosis in elderly adults with community-acquired pneumonia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 13 April 2017. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14894
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