Serial quantification of procalcitonin (PCT) predicts clinical outcome and prognosis in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP)

Masaki Tamura, Masato Watanabe, Akira Nakajima, Daisuke Kurai, Haruyuki Ishii, Saori Takata, Keitaro Nakamoto, Erei Sohara, Koujirou Honda, Masuo Nakamura, Toshiya Inui, Hiroo Wada, Hajime Takizawa, Hajime Goto
Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy: Official Journal of the Japan Society of Chemotherapy 2014, 20 (2): 97-103

UNLABELLED: Procalcitonin (PCT), a calcitonin precursor, is commonly measured in the setting of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). However, the clinical significance of serial PCT changes has not been established. We conducted a prospective observational study of 122 patients with CAP. Thirty-day mortality was the primary endpoint. Secondary endpoints included: (1) initial treatment failure, (2) 30-day mortality and/or initial treatment failure, and (3) intensive care unit (ICU) admission. In subgroup analysis, we classified patients into pneumococcal pneumonia and non-pneumococcal pneumonia groups. The baseline frequency of 30-day mortality was 10.7%. Increases in serum PCT levels from admission to Day 3 were observed with statistically higher frequency in patients with 30-day mortality (P = 0.002). For secondary endpoints, only the 30-day mortality and/or initial treatment failure group was statistically significant (P = 0.007). Subgroup analysis revealed statistically significant changes in the non-pneumococcal pneumonia group (N = 85) across several endpoints, including 30-day mortality (P = 0.001), initial treatment failure (P = 0.013), and 30-day mortality and/or initial treatment failure (P < 0.001). No significant changes in endpoint measurements were found in the pneumococcal pneumonia group (N = 28). Interestingly, serum PCT levels at the time of diagnosis were higher in patients with pneumococcal pneumonia than those with non-pneumococcal pneumonia (P = 0.006), and this positively correlated with disease severity scores for all patients (PCT vs. PSI: R = 0.380, P < 0.001; PCT vs.

A-DROP: R = 0.422, P < 0.001) and for non-pneumococcal pneumonia (PCT vs. PSI: R = 0.468, P < 0.001; PCT vs.

A-DROP: R = 0.448, P < 0.001), but not for pneumococcal pneumonia. In conclusion, serial quantification of PCT can predict clinical outcomes for patients with CAP.

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