Serum procalcitonin as a biomarker of sepsis

Nyamnyei Konyak, Linda Marangmei, Medo M. Kuotsu, Laishram Chittaranjan Singh, L. Shaini Devi, S. Bhagyabati Devi


Background: The overlap of clinical presentation between sepsis and SIRS has presented diagnostic difficulty in these two close common scenarios. Blood culture remains the gold standard for detection of specific micro-organism, the non-availability of culture report early and difficulty in culture of many organisms is a challenge in differentiation of sepsis from its mimickers. Keeping this background, a simple tool is needed to guide sepsis management while awaiting the culture report. Therefore, the present study is conducted to determine the procalcitonin level in the setting suspicious of sepsis and to differentiate it from SIRS. The objective of the study was to determine Serum procalcitonin level as a biomarker of early diagnosis of sepsis and also to differentiate sepsis from severe inflammatory response syndrome.

Methods: Cross sectional study on 79 patients aged above 18 years with suspected sepsis admitted in medicine ward. Serum procalcitonin levels were measured and analysed to look for any association with sepsis.

Results: Culture was positive in 41 patients and 38 patients were procalcitonin positive. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive values of serum procalcitonin were found as 96.68%, 94.74%, 95% and 92.30% respectively.

Conclusions: There was a significant association between serum procalcitonin and culture positivity. Procalcitonin levels was found to have high sensitivity and high positive predictive value which may aid in the early diagnosis and guide initiation of anti-microbial therapy in sepsis.


Procalcitonin, Sepsis, SIRS, Positive culture

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