In order to assess the potential fo procalcitonin measurement in the management of neonatal sepsis, daily variations in serum procalcitonin (measured by an immunoluminometric assay) were evaluated in 94 control and infected newborn infants in comparison to C-reactive protein (measured by an immunonephelometric method). High levels of procalcitonin correlated with bacterial invasion and showed no discrepancies with C-reactive protein. procalcitonin increased (up to 400 micrograms l-1 and returned to the normal range (< 0.1 microgram l-1) more quickly than C-reactive protein, suggesting that procalcitonin may be an early marker of favourable outcome. Another finding is a significant procalcitonin peak on the first day of life in the control group, independent of any infectious stimulus. In conclusion, procalcitonin seems to be an interesting marker of neonatal sepsis but additional investigations are needed to understand better its mechanism of synthesis in order to determine its clinical usefulness.