Predictive value of procalcitonin and interleukin 6 in critically ill patients with suspected sepsis

Intensive Care Med. 2002 Sep;28(9):1220-5. doi: 10.1007/s00134-002-1416-1. Epub 2002 Jul 19.


Objective: To evaluate the performance of procalcitonin (PCT), interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein, leukocyte count, D-dimer, and antithrombin III at onset of septic episode and 24 h later in prediction of hospital mortality in critically ill patients with suspected sepsis.

Design and setting: Prospective, cohort study in two university hospital intensive care units.

Patients: 61 critically ill patients with suspected sepsis.

Measurements and results: The outcome measure was hospital mortality. Hospital survivors ( n=41) and nonsurvivors ( n=20) differed statistically significantly on day 1 (admission) in PCT, IL-6, SOFA score, and APACHE II score, and 24 h later in PCT, IL-6, and D-dimer values. AT III, CRP, and leukocyte count did not differ. The areas under receiver operating curves showed reasonable discriminative power (>0.75) in predicting hospital mortality only for day 2 IL-6 (0.799) and day 2 PCT (0.777) values which were comparable to that of APACHE II (0.786), and which remained the only independent predictor of mortality.

Conclusions: Admission and day 2 IL-6, and day 2 PCT, and day 2 D-dimer values differed significantly between hospital survivors and nonsurvivors among critically ill patients with suspected sepsis. However, in prediction of hospital mortality, only the discriminative power of day 2 PCT and IL-6 values, and APACHE II was reasonable as judged by AUC analysis (>0.75).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antithrombin III* / analysis
  • C-Reactive Protein* / analysis
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Calcitonin* / blood
  • Critical Illness*
  • Female
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products* / analysis
  • Finland
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6* / blood
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Precursors* / blood
  • Sepsis / blood
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*


  • CALCA protein, human
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • Interleukin-6
  • Protein Precursors
  • fibrin fragment D
  • Antithrombin III
  • Calcitonin
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide