Procalcitonin kinetics as a prognostic marker of ventilator-associated pneumonia

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Jan 1;171(1):48-53. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200406-746OC. Epub 2004 Sep 24.


We investigated the value of procalcitonin kinetics as a prognostic marker during ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). This prospective, observational study was conducted in a medical intensive care unit in a university hospital. All consecutive patients with microbiologically proven VAP who survived 3 days after its diagnosis were included and grouped according to clinical outcome: favorable or unfavorable, defined as death, VAP recurrence, or extrapulmonary infection requiring antibiotics before Day 28. Serum procalcitonin levels were measured on Days 1, 3, and 7 for all patients. Among the 63 patients included, 38 had unfavorable outcomes. On Day 1, they were more critically ill than patients with a favorable outcome. Serum procalcitonin levels decreased during the clinical course of VAP but were significantly higher from Day 1 to Day 7 in patients with unfavorable outcomes. Multivariate analyses retained serum procalcitonin levels on Days 1, 3, and 7 as strong predictors of unfavorable outcome. Based on these data, procalcitonin could be a prognostic marker of outcome during VAP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Calcitonin / blood*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / etiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / mortality
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Precursors / blood*
  • Recurrence
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


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