- You need to provide Blood
- Overnight fasting is not mandatory
- This test is for Male, Female
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What is Procalcitonin?
Procalcitonin is a protein produced by thyroid gland under normal conditions. Its level rises in the blood in response to a microbial infection or an injury to the body. This test is used to diagnose sepsis at an early stage. Sepsis is a condition in which a bacterial infection spreads from an organ into the blood stream. It is manifested with symptoms such as fever, chills, sweating, confusion and shortness of breath. It can be fatal if not treated early.
Procalcitonin level is also measured for monitoring the efficacy of an ongoing antibiotic treatment. Infants, elderly people, post surgery patients, diabetic and immunocompromised people are at a greater risk to get affected.
Why is Procalcitonin done?
The Procalcitonin Test is performed:
· To determine the presence of bacterial infection and distinguish bacterial infections from other infections in case of similar symptoms
· To help diagnose sepsis and determine its extent
· To monitor and guide antibiotic treatment for bacterial infections
What does Procalcitonin Measure?
The Procalcitonin Test helps to detect infection in the early stages so that it can be treated effectively. It also helps to differentiate between bacterial and non-bacterial infections so that the treatment may be provided appropriately.
Procalcitonin is secreted by most cells of the body in response to bacterial infections or tissue injuries. It is a messenger of the enzyme calcitonin which is secreted by the thyroid gland. A significant increase in the level of procalcitonin can be observed in case of a large-scale bacterial infection and sepsis.
The immune system of the body responds quickly in case of bacterial infection by producing inflammation which limits bacterial growth. In order to destroy the bacterial pathogens, the white blood cells arrive at the site. The immune system localizes (restricts) the bacterial infection. However, if the infection is not controlled, sepsis starts to occur. If sepsis is left untreated, it may become fatal.
Interpreting Procalcitonin results
Normal range (approx.): Below 0.15 ng/mL
Below 0.50 ng/mL: Low risk of severe sepsis
0.50 to 2.00 ng/mL: Borderline risk of severe sepsis
Above 2.00 ng/mL: High risk of severe sepsis
Reference range may vary from lab to lab*
Procalcitonin is almost undetectable in a normal healthy individual. Hence, the results of the Procalcitonin Test are to be interpreted in combination with other tests and clinical findings.
Healths First, Lal Pathlab, Medcis Pathlab
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