Procalcitonin: A Valuable Predicator For Lethal Respiratory Failure

High levels or persistent elevation of PCT in patients with severe pneumonia usually results in death. According to a study in Respirology published by Wiley-Blackwell, Procalcitonin (PCT) levels in patients are indicative of survival rates, proving to be a valuable prognostic factor of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

The paper, “Procalcitonin is a valuable prognostic marker in ARDS caused by community-acquired pneumonia”, measured PCT levels in 22 patients to study its role in predicting the outcome of patients with ARDS caused by community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). It finds that non-surviving patients not only have higher levels of PCT at baseline, but also in the following days.

Lead author, Dr. Chieh-Liang Wu says, “Life threatening Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is commonly caused by severs community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). There is currently no single biomarker acting as an independent prognostic factor of ARDS due to CAP but high levels or persistent elevation of PCT in the patient’s blood is fatal.”

PCT is associated with an increased rate of evolution of septic shock, multi-organ dysfunction and mortality in intensive care patients admitted for severe CAP. PCT levels aid in differentiating the causes of inflammation and help guide prescription levels of antibiotics – particularly when attempting to reduce the patient’s total dosage. It can also predict bacteraemia and assess the severity of CAP in patients.

Dr. Wu adds, “Although there was no single biomarker that can act as a prognostic factor of ARDS, the present study shows that PCT can effectively evaluate and predict the severity of ARDS caused by CAP making it a valuable biomarker marker.”

About Respirology

Respirology is a journal of international standing, publishing peer-reviewed articles of scientific excellence in clinical and experimental respiratory biology and disease and its related fields of research including thoracic surgery, internal medicine, immunology, intensive and critical care, epidemiology, cell and molecular biology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology.

About Wiley-Blackwell

Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing Ltd. by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and its merger with Wiley’s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,400 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit blackwellpublishing or interscience.wiley.

About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Since 1901, Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 350 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Physics, Economics, Physiology/Medicine, Chemistry and Peace.

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