Procalcitonin as a marker of sepsis

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2002 Jul;20(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/s0924-8579(02)00047-x.


Prompt diagnosis and treatment with appropriate antimicrobial chemotherapy is of paramount importance to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with sepsis. Inflammatory markers currently in use, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) do not reliably differentiate between the systemic inflammatory response and sepsis. Procalcitonin (PCT), a precursor of calcitonin, is a 116 amino acid protein that has been proposed as a marker of disease severity in conditions such as septicaemia, meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infection (UTI) and fungal and parasitic infection. In particular, serial measurements are useful in order to monitor response to therapy. Together with good clinical judgement and judicious use of antimicrobial agents, PCT should serve as a valuable adjunct in the diagnosis and management of sepsis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Calcitonin / blood*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Protein Precursors / blood*
  • Sepsis / blood
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*


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