Journal of Laboratory Physicians
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-108

Procalcitonin as a predictor of sepsis and outcome in severe trauma patients: A prospective study


1 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Surgery, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Purva Mathur
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2727.119852

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Introduction: Despite the advances in medical sciences, the morbidity and mortality due to sepsis in severe trauma patients remains high; hence the need for early and accurate diagnosis. Very few prospective studies are available in a country like India, which tried to analyze the prediction of sepsis using serum procalcitonin (PCT) in such a large scale among trauma patients. This study explores the role of the biomarker PCT in early diagnosis of sepsis and prediction of outcomes in severe trauma cases. Materials and Methods: We studied the patient population prospectively in two different groups. One with acute trauma but no clinical evidence of sepsis and the second group with clinical evidence of sepsis and are followed. Bronchoalveolar lavage, tracheal aspirates, pus, urine, body fluids from sterile body sites, etc., were collected including blood for culture and serum for PCT assays. Such assays were done on samples collected on days 1 and 4 and then compared. Additionally, C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) levels were also tested. Antimicrobial sensitivity tests were carried out for all the isolates from the clinical samples and correlated with the clinically suspected cases of sepsis. Outcomes of the patients were noted. Results: Patients with high initial PCT levels (>2 ng/ml) in severe trauma cases had poor outcomes and risk of developing complications. Its correlation with severe outcomes was better marked as compared with CRP and ESR levels. The difference in PCT levels between days 1 and 4 in group two patients was statistically significant (P = 0.006) but were not statistically significant for CRP (P = 0.646) and ESR (P = 0.935). The study also shows that PCT levels fall in response to appropriate antimicrobial treatment. Conclusion: PCT is a useful biomarker for early and accurate prediction of sepsis in severe trauma patients. If used in adjunct to clinical findings, it proves to be a good biomarker for early diagnosis, treatment and for monitoring response to therapy in confirmed cases of sepsis. It will prove to be a good supportive indicator of sepsis in early stages for the trauma patients in a low resource country like India.


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