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Iran J Pediatr. 2012 Sep;22(3):314-8.

Evaluation of diagnostic value of procalcitonin as a marker of neonatal bacterial infections.

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Pathology department, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.



This study tried to assess sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of procalcitonin for diagnosis of neonatal bacterial infections.


This prospective cross sectional study was carried out during an 18-month period in NICU and neonatal wards of Besat Hospital in Hamedan province, Iran. 39 symptomatic infants with clinical and laboratory findings in favor of bacterial infection with a positive blood, CSF, and/or supra pubic urine culture entered the study; 32 newborns without any bacterial infection served as control group. Quantitative procalcitonin level ≥0.5 ng/ml was accepted as pathological. Finally sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) were calculated for procalcitonin test.


20 blood cultures, 17 urine cultures and 8 CSF cultures were positive. Sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV for procalcitonin test was 76.9%, 100%, 100% and 78% respectively. Diagnostic value of procalcitonin test in accordance with blood culture for mentioned items was 85%, 100%, 100% and 91.4% respectively. Its diagnostic value according to urine culture was: sensitivity 70.6%, specificity 100%, PPV 100% and NPV 86.4%, and according to CSF culture was: sensitivity 75%, specificity 100%, PPV 100% and NPV 94.1% respectively.


The results show that the procalcitonin test has high sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV for diagnosis of neonatal infections.


Infection; Newborn; Predictive Value of Tests; Procalcitonin; Sensitivity; Specificity

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