Umbilical Cord Blood Serum Procalcitonin Concentration in the Diagnosis of Early Neonatal Infection

J Perinatol. 2003 Mar;23(2):148-53. doi: 10.1038/


Objective: To evaluate serum procalcitonin concentration in umbilical cord blood for diagnosis of intrauterine bacterial infection.

Materials and methods: A prospective study was conducted between 2000 and 2001. Serum procalcitonin concentrations were evaluated in 187 umbilical cord blood samples. Five groups have been defined: controls A (n=37), full-term noninfected B1 (n=80) and infected neonates B2 (n=8), preterm noninfected C1 (n=38) and infected C2 (n=24) newborns. An immunoluminometric assay was used to determine procalcitonin concentration. The Mann-Whitney U-test and Spearman's correlation ratio were applied. The sensitivity and specificity, the positive and negative predictive values, and the area under receiver operating characteristic curves were calculated.

Results: A statistically higher serum procalcitonin concentration was found in the preterm infected group (p<0.005; C2 vs A and C1).

Conclusion: Serum procalcitonin concentration in umbilical cord blood may be a useful parameter in the diagnosis of early neonatal infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / diagnosis*
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Calcitonin / blood*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Escherichia coli Infections / diagnosis
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protein Precursors / blood*
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Streptococcus agalactiae*


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