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Currently, procalcitonin assays are widely used in the clinical environment.
A cluster randomized trial found that the procalcitonin level can help guide antibiotic therapy.
However, an earlier nonrandomized, observational study reported "limited, prognostic value" of procalcitonin measurement.
The level of procalcitonin rises in a response to a proinflammatory stimulus, especially of bacterial origin.
Procalcitonin levels may be useful to distinguish bacterial infections from nonbacterial infections.
Article: Discriminatory value of procalcitonin.
Evidence is emerging that procalcitonin levels can reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing to people with lower respiratory tract infections.
Remarkably the high procalcitonin levels produced during infections are not followed by a parallel increase in calcitonin or serum calcium levels.
This model was then utilized to determine the metabolic perturbations associated with the procalcitonin peptide levels observed with sepsis.
With the derangements that a severe infection with an associated systemic response brings, the blood levels of procalcitonin may rise to 100 mcg/L.
The level of procalcitonin in the blood stream of healthy individuals is below the limit of detection (10 pg/mL) of clinical assays.
Several investigators have questioned the diagnostic accuracy of procalcitonin (PCT) measurement, results with which have been inconsistent and variable [ 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].
Lactate Test(American Association for Clinical Chemistry) Procalcitonin: The Test(American Association for Clinical Chemistry) How Is Cardiogenic Shock Treated?
Measurement of procalcitonin can be used as a marker of severe sepsis caused by bacteria and generally grades well with the degree of sepsis, although levels of procalcitonin in the blood are very low.
In this regard, recent studies in humans have revealed that the prohormone of calcitonin (CT), procalcitonin (ProCT), as well as its component peptides offer promise of being early and useful predictive markers of systemic inflammation [ 11, 12, 13].
This antiserum reacts with the CT molecule, whether it is in the free, amidated, 32-amino acid mature form, or within its precursor propeptides [ie procalcitonin, the conjoined calcitonin:calcitonin carboxypeptide-I (CT:CCP-1), or the free immature, unamidated CT].