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Original Article The Utility of Serum Procalcitonin Levels in the Management of Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome in the Emergency Department
Kyung Hye Park, Kang Hyun Lee, Kyoung Chul Cha, Hyun Kim, Sung Oh Hwang

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea.
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea.
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The aim of this study was to investigate whether obtaining serum procalcitonin (PCT) levels in patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) helps the differential diagnosis between sepsis and non-sepsis and predicts disease severity in the emergency department (ED).
This prospective study enrolled 132 consecutive adult patients with SIRS who visited the ED. Serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and serum PCT levels were compared between sepsis and non-sepsis groups upon ED admission. Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA), Multiple Organ Dysfunction Score (MODS), and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III scores were calculated, and their correlations with CRP and PCT levels were evaluated. The PCT and CRP levels were assessed to predict sepsis in terms of comparing receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
Eighty patients were included in the sepsis group. The levels of PCT and CRP in the sepsis group were significantly higher. In the sepsis group, the initial serum PCT correlated with the SOFA and MODS scores, and this also correlated in the non-sepsis group, but CRP did not. No differences were found when the PCT and CRP ROCs were compared.
Correlation between PCT and severity in the non-sepsis group is considered to be clinically meaningless because of low levels. Additionally, PCT levels had similar diagnostic value for sepsis as CRP levels. PCT is recommended for prediction of severity in sepsis patients in ED, but not for differential diagnosis between sepsis and non-sepsis.

ACC : Acute and Critical Care