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Clin Lab. 2003;49(7-8):319-27.

Evaluation of a fully automated procalcitonin chemiluminescence immunoassay.

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Institut für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsmedizin, Krankenhaus Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Dresden, Germany.


We evaluated a new fully automated microparticle immunoassay for procalcitonin (LIAISON BRAHMS PCT) in comparison with a previously established manual chemiluminescence assay from the same manufacturer (LUMItest PCT, BRAHMS AG). Procalcitonin (PCT) is an early and rather specific marker of systemic bacterial infection. In addition, the efficacy of antibiotic therapy can be monitored by sequential analysis of PCT values. This is why rapid and accurate determinations of PCT are urgently required by intensive care units. The aim of this study was to evaluate in a clinical set-up a new fully automated rapid PCT test. Analytical results are compared with results obtained by a previously introduced quantitative manual test. Intra-assay coefficients of variation (CV) were found in the range of 0.94 to 7.1% at concentrations between 0.46 and 97.2 microg/l. Over a time period of 27 days the inter-assay CV was found below 4.0% at concentrations of 1.93 and 14.29 microg/l and 9.9% at 0.40 microg/l. The functional sensitivity at a CV level of 20% was determined as 0.2 microg/l. Linearity could be demonstrated in a concentration range from 0 to 445 microg/l. When serum and plasma with EDTA, citrate or heparin anti-coagulation were analyzed in parallel, no systematic bias was found. A method comparison by regression analysis showed PCT values determined by both tests in very good agreement (r = 0.99). PCT concentrations in apparently healthy subjects (n =101) were below 0.58 microg/l in line with previously published results. Patients with sepsis (n = 43) or with infectious adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) (n = 28) showed median values of 22.2 and 18.9 microg/l, respectively. In a clinical set-up the LIAISON Brahms PCT assay provided rapid and accurate PCT results supporting the early detection of severe sepsis, the differentiation between systemic bacterial infection and other inflammatory diseases, and the monitoring of antibiotic therapy in septic patients. The results of the new LIAISON BRAHMS PCT assay show an excellent concordance with the LUMItest PCT. The clinical information derived from the measurements is well comparable to the results obtained with the LUMItest PCT, too.

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