Procalcitonin is a peptide precursor of the hormone calcitonin. Calcitonin is involved with calcium homeostasis. It was identified in 19070 by Leonard J. Feftos and Bernard A. Roos. It is composed of 116 amino acids and is produced by C cells of the thyroid and the neuroendocrine cells of the intestine and lungs.
In the blood of a healthy person, you will expect a procalcitonin level of 0.01µg/L. Procalcitonin levels rise as a response to inflammation, usually of a bacterial nature.
Procalcitonin is referred to as an acute-phase reactant.
Procalcitonin Diagnostic advantages
Procalcitonin offers a great variance between microbial infections and a healthy human. This is why it has gone on to become a key marker to improve the identification of bacterial infections. Giving a guide for antibiotic therapy.
Procalcitonin Medical Uses
Using the measurement of procalcitonin, a number of infections can be detected. Procalcitonin can be used as a marker for:
The diagnostic advantages of PCT are many. Using the Schuetz, Albrich, and Mueller model, there are a number of different infections that can be studied and treated using their PCT scale.
In children and neonates presenting with fever with no apparent source, a PCT level of .5ng/l had a sensitivity of 84% and specificity of 86%. At a 5 ng/mL value, the sensitivity and specificity were 61% and 94%. PCT can assist clinical decision making and identifying invasive bacterial infection in children with fever caused by no apparent cause.