The Role of Procalcitonin in the Diagnosis of Meningitis: A Literature Review

J Clin Med. 2018 Jun 11;7(6):148. doi: 10.3390/jcm7060148.


Objective: To review the current published literature on the use of procalcitonin as a diagnostic and prognostic marker in adult patients with meningitis.

Methods: We conducted a PubMed search to identify all relevant publications regarding the diagnostic and prognostic value of serum procalcitonin in patients with a known or suspected central nervous system infection. We also reviewed the bibliographies of all identified manuscripts in an attempt to identify additional relevant references.

Results: A significant body of evidence suggests that serum procalcitonin has a promising role and can be a useful biomarker in the assessment of patients with meningitis.

Conclusions: Our literature review suggests that data on the role of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) procalcitonin are limited, whereas serum procalcitonin (S⁻PCT) is probably a useful tool in the evaluation of patients with a known or suspected central nervous system infection and can help distinguish between bacterial and viral meningitis.

Keywords: antibiotic therapy; bacterial meningitis; biomarker; differential diagnosis; procalcitonin; viral meningitis.

Publication types

  • Review