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Minerva Anestesiol. 2006 Jan-Feb;72(1-2):69-80.

Procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, white blood cells and SOFA score in ICU: diagnosis and monitoring of sepsis.

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Department of Intensive Care, Anesthesiology and Pain Relief, C. Poma Hospital Mantova, Italy.



To determine in critically ill patients the value of procalcitonin (PCT), C-reactive protein (CRP), sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score and white blood cell count in diagnosis and monitoring of sepsis.


Patients admitted to a medicosurgical intensive care unit in a prospective, observational study, were observed consecutively. According to ACCP/SCCM Consensus Conference definition were defined 4 groups: SEPSIS/SS (sepsis, severe sepsis, septic shock), SIRS, No-SIRS and TRAUMA.


Two hundred and fifty five clinical events on a total of 1 826 observation days were observed: 111 SEPSIS/SS, 49 TRAUMA, 45 SIRS and 50 No-SIRS. ROC values, in the diagnosis of sepsis, were 0.88 for PCT, 0.74 for CRP, 0.8 for Sepsis score, 0.74 for SOFA, 0.62 for neu-throphils granulocytes (p<0.05). The best cut-off values in the diagnosis of sepsis were 0.47 ng/mL for PCT and 128 mg/L for CRP. PCT and SOFA were higher in septic shock than in severe sepsis and sepsis (p<0.05 in all cases). The maximum CRP level in SEPSIS/SS was reached only after 24-48 h of observation. Admission PCT value of TRAUMA patients whom evolving in septic complication was higher than patients with a favourable course: 3.4 ng/mL (range 2.63-12.71) vs 1.2 ng/mL (range 0.5-5.2) (p<0.05). TRAUMA patients with septic complications present an early and quick significant increase of PCT (p<0.05).


PCT and CRP may be useful together with bacteriological data in sepsis diagnosis; PCT and SOFA closer correlate with the infection severity; PCT is the better parameter to estimate severity, prognosis or further course of the disease.

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