What are considerations when interpreting procalcitonin (PCT) measurement results?

Updated: Jul 30, 2019
  • Author: Jiun-Lih Jerry Lin, MBBS, MS(Orth); Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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Procalcitonin levels may also be elevated in medullary thyroid carcinoma [27] and small-cell lung carcinoma, [27] paralytic/vascular ileus [24] exhibiting paraneoplastic production, and renal failure. [27]

Procalcitonin, although useful in bacterial sepsis, has no value in the assessment of fungal or viral infections and shows no response to intracellular microorganisms (ie, Mycoplasma) or in local infections with no systemic response.

Similar to CRP, clinical conditions associated with high baseline procalcitonin levels include burns, major surgery, and systemic inflammatory processes.

To date, the use of procalcitonin, both as an indicator of severe infection and predictor of antibiotic choices/duration, has been center-specific, with insufficient data from multicenter/multinational studies to support its use as a routine laboratory marker in clinical practice.

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