Review Article| Volume 61, ISSUE 2, P384-389, March 2022

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A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of LRINEC Score for Predicting Upper and Lower Extremity Necrotizing Fasciitis

Published:September 18, 2021DOI:


      This review and meta-analysis aims to assess the prognostic value of the Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotizing Fasciitis (LRINEC) score for detecting necrotizing fasciitis in the extremities. The LRINEC score has been validated in multiple studies as a clinical tool for differentiating necrotizing fasciitis from non-necrotizing infections however many studies do not specify the location of infection. As the prevalence of diabetes and diabetic foot infections continues to rise, the utility of LRINEC scores in these populations becomes of increased importance. Four databases were reviewed for citations between January 2010 and December 2020. English, full text articles reporting the diagnostic effects of LRINEC were utilized in the systematic review portion of this paper. Further inclusion of 2 × 2 tables and discussion specific to the extremities were applied for citations implemented in the meta-analysis. Of the 111 results, 12 citations (n = 932) were included in this review. The diagnostic sensitivity of the LRINEC score ranged from 36% to 77% while specificity ranged from 72% to 93%. Cumulative odds ratio for LRINEC ≥6 among the 4 studies assessing extremity necrotizing fasciitis was 4.3 with p value of <.05. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value was 49.39%, 83.17%, 34.91%, and 89.99%, respectively. Accuracy, the classification by whether a patient was correctly classified, was 77.95%. LRINEC score is effective at distinguishing necrotizing fasciitis from other soft tissue infections however the LRINEC's score greatest clinical application may be its ability to rule out necrotizing fasciitis while its ability to accurately identify the presence of infection remains suboptimal.

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