Overview of Procalcitonin
What is Procalcitonin?
Why is Procalcitonin done?
The Procalcitonin Test is performed:
· To determine the presence of bacterial infection and distinguish bacterial infections from other infections in case of similar symptoms
· To help in diagnosis of sepsis and determine its extent
· To monitor and guide antibiotic treatment for bacterial infections
What does Procalcitonin Measure?
Procalcitonin is a substance secreted by most cells of the body in response to bacterial infections or tissue injuries. It is a precursor of the enzyme calcitonin secreted by the thyroid gland. In case of a large-scale bacterial infection and sepsis, procalcitonin levels show a significant increase.
The immune system of the body responds quickly in case of a bacterial infection by producing inflammation which limits bacterial growth and white blood cells arrive at the site of infection to destroy the bacterial pathogens. The immune system localizes the bacterial infection. However, if the infection is not controlled, sepsis starts to occur. If sepsis is left untreated, it may become fatal.
The Procalcitonin Test helps to detect infection in the early stages so that it can be treated effectively. It also helps to differentiate between bacterial and non-bacterial infections so that the treatment may be provided appropriately.
Preparation for Procalcitonin
- No special preparation required
Sample Type for Procalcitonin
Interpreting Procalcitonin results
Normal range (approx.): Below 0.15ng/mL
Below 0.50ng/mL: Low risk of severe sepsis
0.50 to 2.00ng/mL: Borderline risk of severe sepsis
Above 2.00ng/mL: High risk of severe sepsis
Procalcitonin is almost undetectable in a normal healthy individual. Results of the Procalcitonin Test are to be interpreted in combination with other tests and clinical findings.
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Procalcitonin
Frequently Asked Questions about Procalcitonin