Endocrine Abstracts (2011) 26 P49

Serum procalcitonin measurement as a marker of sepsis

E Puca1,2, E Puca1,2, P Pipero2, A Pilaca2, Z Ylli3, A Ylli1,4 & D H Kraja2


1Neo-Style Clinic, Tirana, Albania; 2Service of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Center ‘Mother Theresa’, Tirana, Albania; 3Service of Immunology UHC Mother Teresa, Tirana, Albania; 4Service of Endocrinology UHC Mother Teresa, Tirana, Albania.


Procalcitonin (PCT) is a peptide precursor of the hormone calcitonin. Procalcitonin is synthesized by a large number of tissues and organs in response to invasion by pathogenic bacteria, fungi and some parasites. Its a new and innovative parameter which reacts with high sensitivity and specificity to generalized infection and sepsis.

Objective: The aim of the study was to assess PCT value for the diagnosis of systemic infection.

Methods and materials: PCT was measured in 67 patients evaluated in our service during May–December 2010. We used Elycsys BRAHMS PCT test electro chemiluminescent immunoassay (ECLIA) for the determination of procalcitonin. In Albania, PCT has been used as a serum marker for bacterial sepsis since May, 2010. We used levels of ≥2 ng/ml as PCT positive for sepsis.

Results: Mean age was 44.53 years old ±17.32 S.D., range 15–75. Female 52.3% and males 42.7%. 67.1% of patients were admitted to hospital and blood culture was performed to 88.8% of them. Based on clinical and laboratory features (a cut off PCT ≥2 ng/ml) 29.8% of patients were confirmed as sepsis. Mean age of them was 46.5 years old ±20.7 S.D.. PCT was very high (4.1–100 ng/ml) in patients with sepsis with average value 23.65 ng/ml. A statistically significant higher PCT level was observed in patients with sepsis compared to those without sepsis (23.65±21.3 vs 0.5±1.4 respectively). In 71.2% of cases (patients without sepsis) PCT was under 2 ng/ml.

Conclusion: The serum concentration of PCT is specifically elevated in sepsis patients. Measurement of PCT blood level is a simple and specific test and may be recommended in the diagnosis of systemic infection. Procalcitonin should be included in diagnostic and clinical practice guidelines for sepsis. Both absolute values and variations should be considered and evaluated in further studies.

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