Procalcitonin: how a hormone became a marker and mediator of sepsis

Swiss Med Wkly. 2001 Oct 20;131(41-42):595-602. doi: 10.4414/smw.2001.09751.


Calcitonin was discovered in the early 1960s [1], at which time it was assumed to be a single hormone with a yet-to-be-determined role in human physiology. Since then it has been found to be only one entity among a large array of related circulating peptides, at least one of which has a pivotal role in the host response to microbial infections [2, 3]. The aim of this review is to describe this metamorphosis of an endocrine hormone to a new class of hormokine mediators in infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Calcitonin / blood*
  • Calcitonin / physiology
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Protein Precursors / blood*
  • Protein Precursors / physiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sepsis / blood*
  • Sepsis / diagnosis
  • Sepsis / physiopathology


  • Biomarkers
  • CALCA protein, human
  • Protein Precursors
  • Calcitonin
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide