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Ankita Raj*, Nitin Tyagi, Charanjeet Kaur, Supriti Kumari, Swati Soni, Sunita Meena, Pramod Kumar Pandey, Bhaskar Charana Kabi


An ideal biomarker for bacterial infection should not only allow early diagnosis, but also inform about the course and prognosis of the disease and guide therapeutic management. Since the first report in 1993 on the association of serum procalcitonin (PCT) levels with bacterial infection there is a solid body of evidence in the literature that this marker is being increasingly recognized as a good marker of bacterial infections and sepsis and therefore as an important tool in clinical practice. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the main indications of this parameter based on selected references. It intends to give an orientation on how PCT may provide added value to the clinical decision process.PCT, however, will not be the ‗magic bullet‘ and some of the limitations of this marker are also discussed. Clinicians should always interpret PCT values in the clinical context of the patient. The increase in PCT reflects the continuous development from a healthy condition to the most severe consequences of bacterial infection (severe sepsis and septic shock). Therefore, optimal cut-off values for PCT are variable and dependent on factors such as the clinical setting, the site and extent of the infection and the presence of co-morbidities.

Keywords: Procalcitonin, Severe Infection, Biomarkers.

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