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Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 17;8(1):993. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-19267-4.

Procalcitonin as a Biomarker for Malignant Cerebral Edema in Massive Cerebral Infarction.

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Department of Neurology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100053, China.
Department of Neurology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100053, China.
Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, 15282, USA.
Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA.
Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA, 15240, USA.


The objective of this study is to explore whether procalcitonin (PCT) can serve as an early biomarker of malignant cerebral edema in patients with massive cerebral infarction (MCI). Ninety-three patients with acute MCI were divided into death or survival groups based on whether they died or survived within 1 week of cerebral herniation. Differences in laboratory parameters between these two groups were analyzed by univariate analysis, followed by multivariate logistic regression analyses if the influencing factors were significantly different. Compared with the survival group, the patients in the death group had a larger cerebral infarct area, higher body temperature, neutrophil counts, PCT level, and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) level within 48 h of onset. Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed an odds ratio (OR) of 1.830 or 1.235 for PCT and neutrophil counts respectively, suggesting that PCT and neutrophil counts are two independent risk factors for death in MCI. The area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.754 for PCT, larger than that for neutrophil counts. Thus, both serum PCT levels and neutrophil counts can be used as biomarkers to predict malignant cerebral edema at the early stages after MCI, but PCT levels are superior predictors of malignant cerebral edema.

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