Biomarkers of Sepsis and Bloodstream Infections: The Role of Procalcitonin and Proadrenomedullin With Emphasis in Patients With Cancer

Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Aug 31;67(6):971-977. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy331.


Sepsis and bloodstream infections remain a leading cause of death in immunocompromised patients with cancer. The management of these serious infections consist of empiric use of antimicrobial agents which are often overused. Procalcitonin and proadrenomedullin are biomarkers that have been extensively evaluated in the general populations but with little emphasis in the population immunocompromised patients with cancer, where they may have promising roles in the management of febrile patients. In this review, we summarize the available evidence of the potential role of these available biomarkers in guiding antimicrobial therapy to optimize the use of resources in the general patient population. Special emphasis is given to the role of these 2 biomarkers in the immunocompromised and critically ill patients with cancer, highlighting the distinctive utility of each.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenomedullin / blood*
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Critical Illness
  • Fever / etiology
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Procalcitonin / blood*
  • Protein Precursors / blood*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*


  • Biomarkers
  • Procalcitonin
  • Protein Precursors
  • proadrenomedullin
  • Adrenomedullin