The value of procalcitonin measurements in children with familial Mediterranean fever

Rheumatol Int. 2012 Nov;32(11):3443-7. doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-2206-2. Epub 2011 Nov 6.


It is well known that the serum procalcitonin (PCT) levels increase in severe bacterial infections. However, there is little information about the levels of PCT in diverse diseases except mainly the infectious diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the progress of serum levels of PCT together with traditional acute phase reactants in children with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) during the attack and attack-free periods and to test whether PCT could help to diagnose the attack in FMF patients. The study group comprised 21 FMF patients (mean age 10 ± 4.6 years) and 19 healthy controls (mean age 10.6 ± 4.2 years). Serum levels of PCT and traditional acute phase reactants were measured during the attack and attack-free periods. Blood samples were obtained within the first 6-24 h of the attack period, 7 days later, and at least 2 months after the attack. Traditional acute phase reactants (hs-CRP, ESR, and fibrinogen) during the attack period were significantly higher than the attack-free levels and controls. PCT levels of the FMF patients during the attack period were also significantly higher than the attack-free and control group levels (median values, 0.044 ng/ml vs. 0.028 ng/ml and 0.031 ng/ml, P = 0.04, respectively). Although this difference was statistically significant (P = 0.04), median PCT values of the attack, attack-free period, and healthy subjects were lower than 0.05 ng/ml. As a result, these findings suggested that PCT levels were not conspicuously affected from inflammation and could not be used as a descriptive marker for attack in FMF patients.

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Calcitonin / blood*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Protein Precursors / blood*


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