Procalcitonin: Between evidence and critical issues.

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Procalcitonin: Between evidence and critical issues.

Clin Chim Acta. 2019 Jun 10;:

Authors: Aloisio E, Dolci A, Panteghini M

Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated response of the host to infection. It represents one of the major health care problems worldwide. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of sepsis is challenging for many reasons, including a lack of a sufficiently sensitive and specific diagnostic test. When procalcitonin (PCT) was discovered, it was thought that it could become the best test for identifying patients with sepsis. From the evidence sources in the available literature, it is now clear that the power of PCT in differentiating infectious from non-infectious forms of systemic inflammatory response syndrome in adults, and in stratifying morbidity and mortality risk is limited. Nevertheless, PCT determination can be a useful tool for diagnosing late-onset neonatal sepsis, bacterial meningitis and other forms of organ-related bacterial infections and, above all, it can be used for guiding antibiotic stewardship in critical patients. The real impact of this application of PCT testing, however, still needs to be clearly defined. Laboratories should offer unrestricted PCT testing only to intensive care units (as an aid in decision for continuing or stopping antibiotics) and pediatric wards. For all other clinical wards, the laboratory should guide PCT requests and give them support towards the most appropriate approach to testing.

PMID: 31194966 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]