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Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2017 Sep;31(3):435-453. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2017.05.003.

Role of Procalcitonin in the Management of Infected Patients in the Intensive Care Unit.

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Infectious Diseases, Providence Portland Medical Center, Oregon Health and Sciences University, 5050 Northeast Hoyt, Suite 540, Portland, OR 97213, USA. Electronic address:


The combination of molecular pathogen diagnostics and the biomarker procalcitonin (PCT) are changing the use of antimicrobials in patients admitted to critical care units with severe community-acquired pneumonia, possible septic shock, or other clinical syndromes. An elevated serum PCT level is good supportive evidence of a bacterial pneumonia, whereas a low serum PCT level virtually eliminates an etiologic role for bacteria even if the culture for a potential bacterial pathogen is positive. Serum PCT levels can be increased in any shocklike state; a low PCT level eliminates invasive bacterial infection as an etiology in more than 90% of patients.


Antimicrobial stewardship; Community-acquired pneumonia; Multiplex PCR; Procalcitonin; Respiratory panel; Sepsis; Septic shock

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