How does procalcitonin (PCT) compare to C-reactive protein as a diagnostic marker?

Updated: Jul 30, 2019
  • Author: Jiun-Lih Jerry Lin, MBBS, MS(Orth); Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

CRP is the most common laboratory marker used in the clinical setting to evaluate systemic inflammatory response to an infectious agent. It is routinely used as a diagnostic, predictor, and monitoring marker in patients with acute sepsis. Several recent comparison studies have aimed to determine the use of PCT in conjunction with CRP or independent of it in the setting of severe bacterial infections.

Procalcitonin is a more useful diagnostic inflammation parameter than CRP in patients with pediatric neutropenic fever, both in estimating the severity of infection and the duration and origin of the fever. [24]

Procalcitonin is a more reliable parameter than other markers in the diagnosis of bacterial sepsis, allowing better differentiation among sepsis-related fatalities. [25]

Procalcitonin is a useful early diagnostic marker for detection of bacteremia in febrile neutropenia and has better diagnostic value than CRP. [26]


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