Role of procalcitonin in viral and bacterial meningitis


  • Nipun Saproo Department of Neurology, Government Medical College and Super Specialty Hospital Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • Roma Singh Consultant, Pathologist, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India



Meningitis, Procalcitonin, Cerebrospinal fluid, C-reactive protein


Background: Meningitis is one of the most common central nervous system infections by bacteria, virus or fungus encountered in infants and children.Early diagnosis of meningitis and differentiation of bacterial from non-bacterial/ viral meningitis tends to play an important role in the emergency management of children with suspected meningitis. While cerebrospinal fluid analysis is popular, along with biomarkers: C-reactive protein and white blood cell count, serum procalcitonin seems to offer an even better specificity.

Methods: A hospital based cross-sectional-study was conducted in department of neurology in collaboration with department of pathology, Medanta, Medicity, Gurugram, for a period of one year from March 2018 to 2019. 100 children aged 4 months to 12 years, with suspected meningitis were enrolled. The study group was further subdivided into two groups, based upon their bacteriological profile: bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis.

Results: For both the groups, the common clinical presentations were fever (100% and 96.88%), convulsions (58.33% and 45.31%), vomiting (25% and 43.75%), The demographic and clinical profile of the 2 groups was largely comparable. Serum PCT levels were significantly higher in bacterial meningitis group compared to non-bacterial meningitis with p<0.001. The sensitivity of serum PCT was found to be 97% and superior to CRP in terms of accuracy in identification and to assess the severity. Procalcitonin is an ideal marker with highest accuracy for bacterial infections.

Conclusions: Serum PCT can act as a more sensitive and specific diagnostic tool in early differentiation of bacterial from non-bacterial meningitis in children.

Author Biography

Nipun Saproo, Department of Neurology, Government Medical College and Super Specialty Hospital Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Dr Nipun Saproo

Lecturer, Department of Neurology,

Government Medical College and Super-Specialty Hospital Jammu


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