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Am J Emerg Med. 2009 Sep;27(7):859-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2008.06.021.

The usefulness of the semiquantitative procalcitonin test kit as a guideline for starting antibiotic administration.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Collage of Medicine, Seoul 137-701, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The Surviving Sepsis Campaign has recommended that antibiotic therapy should be started within the first hour of recognizing severe sepsis. Procalcitonin has recently been proposed as a biomarker of bacterial infection, although the quantitative procalcitonin assay is often time consuming, and it is not always available in many emergency departments (EDs). Our aim is to evaluate usefulness of the semiquantitative procalcitonin fast kit as a guideline for starting antibiotic administration for patients with severe sepsis or septic shock that requires prompt antibiotic therapy in the ED.

METHODS:

We include those patients who were admitted to the ED and who were suspected of having infection. The procalcitonin concentration was determined by semiquantitative PCT-Q strips, and the points of the severity scoring system were calculated. The receiver operating characteristic curve was used to assess the diagnostic value of the PCT-Q strips to predict severe sepsis or septic shock.

RESULTS:

Of the 80 recruited patients, 33 patients were categorized as having severe sepsis or septic shock according to the definition. At a procalcitonin cutoff level of 2 ng/mL or greater, the sensitivity of the PCT-Q for detecting severe sepsis or septic shock was 93.94% and the specificity was 87.23. The receiver operating characteristic curve for PCT-Q to predict severe sepsis or septic shock had an area under the curve of 0.916.

CONCLUSION:

PCT-Q is probably a fast, useful method for detecting severe sepsis in the ED, and it can be used as a guideline for antibiotic treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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