Case Study

Post-op: PCT Decline Reflects Host Response to Antibiotics 

Critical Care Medicine, Surgery

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Key Takeaways

Takeaway #1

Takeaway #1

PCT levels are elevated post-op for 24 to 36 hours, then quickly trend down to normal.1

Takeaway #2

Takeaway #2

A PCT result of 160 μg/L was extremely elevated, indicative of bacterial burden (> 5 ng/mL).2 The elevated PCT finding of 160 μg/L can aid in the differential diagnosis: Hypovolemia vs. peritonitis. The patient was taken back to the OR whereby bowel perforation secondary to anastomotic leak was confirmed and repaired.

Takeaway #3

Takeaway #3

Post-op, antibiotics were initiated Vancomycin, Imipenem, and Moxifloxacin, serial PCT levels were monitored and trended down, of note there was a continual decrease of > 50% daily confirming the patient was responding to therapy.

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Related Resources

  1. B·R·A·H·M·S GmbH (part of Thermo Fisher Scientific), B·R·A·H·M·S PCT sensitive KRYPTOR® Instruction for Use (Version 19.0us) [Internet]. 2018. Available from:
  2. Giaccaglia V, Salvi PF, Cunsolo GV, Sparagna A, Antonelli MS, Nigri G, et al. Procalcitonin, as an early biomarker of colorectal anastomotic leak, facilitates enhanced recovery after surgery. J Crit Care. 2014 Aug;29(4):528-32. 
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