Role of Procalcitonin in the Management of Infected Patients in the Intensive Care Unit.

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Infectious disease clinics of North America


Anti-Bacterial Agents; Antimicrobial Stewardship; Biomarkers; Calcitonin; Community-Acquired Infections; Humans; Intensive Care Units; Molecular Diagnostic Techniques; Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction; Pneumonia, Bacterial; Sepsis; Shock, Septic


The combination of molecular pathogen diagnostics and the biomarker procalcitonin (PCT) are changing the use of antimicrobials in patients admitted to critical care units with severe community-acquired pneumonia, possible septic shock, or other clinical syndromes. An elevated serum PCT level is good supportive evidence of a bacterial pneumonia, whereas a low serum PCT level virtually eliminates an etiologic role for bacteria even if the culture for a potential bacterial pathogen is positive. Serum PCT levels can be increased in any shocklike state; a low PCT level eliminates invasive bacterial infection as an etiology in more than 90% of patients.


Critical Care Medicine


Infectious Diseases