Umbilical cord blood procalcitonin as a risk factor for mortality in very premature infants

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Sep;31(9):2407-12. doi: 10.1007/s10096-012-1583-0. Epub 2012 Mar 1.


Fetal inflammatory response syndrome is implicated as a cause of fetal or neonatal injury. We analyzed the relationship between the procalcitonin umbilical cord blood level and neonatal outcome. A total of 237 preterms born in a level III perinatal medicine unit of a French university hospital were enrolled in a prospective observational study. Measurement of the procalcitonin umbilical cord blood level was performed at birth. After hospitalization, surviving infants were enrolled in the regional follow-up program. Outcome data were recorded on standardized questionnaires. The main outcome measures were neonatal mortality and impaired functional outcome at 2 years of corrected age. The terciles of procalcitonin levels were calculated. Preterm infants of the third tercile were defined as infants with elevated procalcitonin. Among the 237 infants, 13 (5.5%) died during the neonatal period, 20 (8.4%) were lost to follow-up, and 31 (13.1%) were classified as having an impaired functional outcome. After adjustment, elevated cord blood procalcitonin (>0.33 ng/ml) was significantly associated with an increase in mortality (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 8.3 [1.4-48]; p = 0.018), but not with the 2-year impaired functional outcome (aOR = 1.0 [0.4-2.5]; p = 0.93). Elevated umbilical blood cord procalcitonin concentration is an independent risk factor of mortality in preterm infants at less than 33 weeks' gestation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Calcitonin / blood*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • France
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protein Precursors / blood*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / mortality*
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Treatment Outcome


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