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Procalcitonin Is Not a Useful Biomarker of Sepsis

      Some emergency department (ED) patients have clinically occult bacterial sepsis. By sepsis, I mean real sepsis, severe sepsis, not the minimal systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)-qualifying type. Most patients with bacterial sepsis can be identified by clinical evaluation, along with inexpensive laboratory tests and imaging, including lactate level. ED observation is additionally discriminatory. So the question is whether procalcitonin (PCT) testing can help identify the few remaining patients for whom some lower suspicion of bacterial sepsis still exists and improve outcomes. The answer is no.
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      Linked Article

      • Procalcitonin: An Effective Screening Tool and Safe Therapeutic Decisionmaking Aid for Emergency Department Patients With Suspected Sepsis
        Annals of Emergency MedicineVol. 66Issue 3
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          Today's standard sepsis definition is based on the long-established recognition that the host response is an important aspect of the sepsis syndrome. Unfortunately, the systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria have been less useful to diagnose sepsis than anticipated, lacking sensitivity, specificity, and ease of clinical application.1 Had the host-response biomarker procalcitonin been available by then, it would certainly have been preferred over the WBC count as the laboratory-based systemic inflammatory response syndrome criterion, considering procalcitonin’s advantages, outlined below.
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