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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2013 April;65(2):167-72

language: Italian

Diagnostic approach to flogosis: procalcitonin validity

Dimitri E. 1, Amialyanchyk V. 1, D’Angelo G. 1, Bordicchia F. 2, Gabrieli O. 1

1 Clinica Pediatrica dell’Università Politecnica delle Marche, Azienda Ospedaliera “G. Salesi” degli Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona, Ancona, Italia;
2 Laboratorio Analisi – Azienda Ospedaliera “G.Salesi” degli Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona Ancona, Italia


Aim: The aim of our study was to compare the potential usefulness of procalcitonin with the CRP as a diagnostic marker of pediatric diseases and to define the diagnostic accuracy and relation with the inflammation etiology and severity of procalcitonin.
Methods: The analysis focused on a sample of 141 children, hospitalized for fever with bacterial, viral or inflammatory etiology, studied at the time of admission in the Hospital, and after defervescence. The sensitivity, the specificity, the positive and negative predictive value have been calculated for the both tests, explained above.
Results: The diagnostic accuracy of procalcitonin is the same as the one of PCR in all cases. The result of the test has been positive in 85.7% of the serious infections and has been useful to identifiy the etiology of infections in almost 2/3 of patients.
Conclusion: Procalcitonin seems to be a promising marker of infections because of its following features: a larger contribution in the monitoring phase (fast positivization and normalization); the diagnostic accuracy and a good correlation with the etiology and the severity of infections. Nonetheless, the routine use of procalcitonin is not recommended in the light of the uncertainty on the optimal cut-off and the still high costs.

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