Procalcitonin

Procalcitonin is a topic covered in the Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests.

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Synonym/Acronym:
PCT.

Rationale
To assist in diagnosing bacterial infection and risk for developing sepsis.

Patient Preparation
There are no food, fluid, activity, or medication restrictions unless by medical direction.

Normal Findings
Method: Fluorescence immunoassay.

AgeConventional UnitsSI Units (Conventional Units × 1)
NewbornLess than 2 ng/mLLess than 2 mcg/L
18–20 hrLess than 20 ng/mLLess than 20 mcg/L
48 hrLess than 5 ng/mLLess than 5 mcg/L
3 d–adultLess than 0.1 ng/mLLess than 0.1 mcg/L
Interpretive Guidelines
InterpretationConventional UnitsSI Units
Bacterial infection absent or highly unlikelyLess than 0.1 ng/mLLess than 0.1 mcg/L
Bacterial infection possible, low risk for development of sepsisLess than 0.5 ng/mLLess than 0.5 mcg/L
Bacterial infection likely, development of sepsis is possible0.5–2 ng/mL0.5–2 mcg/L
Bacterial infection highly likely, high risk for development of sepsis2.1–9.9 ng/mL or greater2.1–9.9 mcg/L or greater
Bacterial infection severe, septic shock is probable10 ng/mL or greater10 mcg/L or greater
The value of individual levels or absolute cutoffs varies between facilities; many have adopted multivariate criteria for the evaluation and management of sepsis that may or may not include procalcitonin measurements.

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions
N/A

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