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Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Jul 15;39(2):206-17. Epub 2004 Jul 2.

Serum procalcitonin and C-reactive protein levels as markers of bacterial infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8064, USA.

Erratum in

  • Clin Infect Dis. 2005 May 1;40(9):1386-8.


A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the accuracy of determination of procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels for the diagnosis of bacterial infection. The analysis included published studies that evaluated these markers for the diagnosis of bacterial infections in hospitalized patients. PCT level was more sensitive (88% [95% confidence interval [CI], 80%-93%] vs. 75% [95% CI, 62%-84%]) and more specific (81% [95% CI, 67%-90%] vs. 67% [95% CI, 56%-77%]) than CRP level for differentiating bacterial from noninfective causes of inflammation. The Q value for PCT markers was higher (0.82 vs. 0.73). The sensitivity for differentiating bacterial from viral infections was also higher for PCT markers (92% [95% CI, 86%-95%] vs. 86% [95% CI, 65%-95%]); the specificities were comparable (73% [95% CI, 42%-91%] vs. 70% [95% CI, 19%-96%]). The Q value was higher for PCT markers (0.89 vs. 0.83). PCT markers also had a higher positive likelihood ratio and lower negative likelihood ratio than did CRP markers in both groups. On the basis of this analysis, the diagnostic accuracy of PCT markers was higher than that of CRP markers among patients hospitalized for suspected bacterial infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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