Sepsis is a life-threatening condition in which a dysregulated host response to infection can result in tissue damage and multiple organ dysfunction.
Symptoms of sepsis may include fever, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, fast heart rate, and mental confusion. Treatment often includes antibiotics and intravenous fluids.1 The impact of sepsis on certain patient populations such as pediatrics, neonates and geriatrics can vary, making timely and appropriate treatment even more critical.
In 2017, almost half of all global sepsis cases occurred among children, with an estimated 20 million cases and 2.9 million global deaths in children under five years of age.1
*PCT levels < 0.5 μg/L do not exclude an infection, localized infections (without systemic signs) may be associated with such low levels.
Reference range: In apparently healthy people, plasma PCT concentrations are found to be > 0.1 μg/L
PCT Levels must always be interpreted in the context of laboratory findings and clinical assessments
PCT levels > 2.0 µg/L indicate a high probability of systemic bacterial infection and risk for progression to sepsis or septic shock. PCT levels < 0.5 µg/L indicate a low likelihood systemic bacterial infection and low risk of progression to sepsis or septic shock. Note: These cut-offs differ from those for patients with acute lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs).
Trending PCT levels may help determine if the patient status is improving or declining. It is important to measure PCT levels at the first sign of infection to help determine both severity of illness and adequacy of source control.
*PCT values may be elevated in certain conditions independent of bacterial infection. Decisions regarding antibiotic therapy should NOT be based solely on procalcitonin concentrations.
Paired with clinical assessment, B·R·A·H·M·S PCT™ is the only FDA-cleared PCT and CE-certified assay to aid in decision-making on antibiotic discontinuation for patients recovering from suspected or confirmed sepsis.7 The Surviving Sepsis Guidelines suggest that PCT levels can be used to support the discontinuation of empiric antibiotics in patients who initially appeared to have sepsis, but subsequently have limited clinical evidence of infection.8
Clinicians can use serial PCT measurements, taken over consecutive days, to help them assess the response to antibiotic therapy and the risk of all-cause mortality among ICU patients. When the infection is controlled, PCT will rapidly decline daily.20 If the PCT level has not significantly declined, the patient and antibiotic therapeutic approach should be reassessed.
A baseline PCT measurement > 2.0 µg/L on Day 0 is an additional risk factor to consider when evaluating procalcitonin measurements on subsequent days.21
The Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) is a global initiative to bring together professional organizations to improve the treatment of sepsis and reduce the high mortality rate associated with the condition. In the 2016 guidelines, the coalition suggested that:8
The WHO recognizes that in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) are essential for advancing universal health coverage, addressing health emergencies, and promoting healthier populations—the three strategic priorities of the Thirteenth WHO General Programme of Work, 2019-2023.22