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Validation of a semi-quantitative bedside procalcitonin measurement in intensive care patients

Introduction and objective

Elevation in the serum concentration of procalcitonin (PCT) has been proposed as a marker of disease severity and is associated with systemic infection [1]. This association has led to the proposed use of PCT as a novel biomarker of bacterial sepsis [24]. We sought to evaluate the PCT measurement with a semi-quantitative bedside method (PCTQ).


From April to July 2003 we evaluated 48 blood samples from 30 patients (14 males with median age 76.64 ± 13.66 years and 16 females with median age 82.06 ± 10.5 years) with sepsis or SIRS in the ICU. PCT levels were measured and grouped into four intervals (<0.5 ng/ml, 0.5–2 ng/ml, 2.0–10 ng/ml and >10 ng/ml) by a quick bedside semi-quantitative method (BRAHMS PCTQ), and the results compared with measurements performed by a quantitative luminometry method (PCTL) (BRAHMS LUMITEST PCT, Germany).


The Kruskall-Wallis ANOVA analysis found a positive and reasonable correlation between the PCTQ and the PCTL for PCT levels >10 ng/ml. There was no significant difference between the other three intervals (<0.5 ng/ml, 0.5–2 ng/ml and 2.0–10 ng/ml) measured by the PCTQ.


This preliminary analysis suggested that the PCTQ can be used to accurately measure PCT levels above 10 ng/ml. Other studies with more samples are necessary to provide more information about levels below 10 ng/ml.


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Vaisman, M., Parodi, A., Gutierrez, F. et al. Validation of a semi-quantitative bedside procalcitonin measurement in intensive care patients. Crit Care 9 (Suppl 2), P64 (2005).

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