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.