Study of procalcitonin as a marker of sepsis in patients of a general hospital during a 2-year period
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KeywordsPublic Health Inflammatory Response Early Diagnosis Emergency Medicine General Hospital
The aim of this study was to determine the number of specimens with abnormal procalcitonin (PCT) values in the total of specimens that were examined during a 2-year period.
Materials and methods
We tested 1,114 patients who were hospitalized in various clinics of Hippokration General Hospital of Athens during the period 2005–2006. PCT was measured because there was clinical suspicion of sepsis. The PCT value in serum was determined using the immunoluminometric assay method (Liaison-BRAHMS PCT) with a normal range of 0.10–0.50 ng/ml.
In the total of 1,114 specimens, which corresponded to the same number of patients, 178 patients (15.98%) had abnormal PCT values that ranged between 1 and 167 ng/ml. These patients were a posteriori clinically and by laboratory examination proven to be in systemic inflammatory response syndrome and sepsis.
According to the results, PCT is a useful marker for the early diagnosis of systemic bacterial infection when clinical and laboratory signs are nonspecific for this determination.