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Correspondence and Brief Communications
August 1, 2007

Procalcitonin Levels and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Scores in Secondary Peritonitis—Reply

Arch Surg. 2007;142(8):803-804. doi:10.1001/archsurg.142.8.803-b

In reply

We are pleased to have the opportunity to reply to the letter of Paugam-Burtz et al in this issue of the Archives. The authors outline an important alternative approach to assessing persisting septic complications or prognosis in patients with secondary peritonitis by daily monitoring sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores, which outperformed PCT measurements. However, it is well known that study results and interpretation depend strongly on patient characteristics, setting, observation periods, and end-point analyses, which are, on careful analysis, different from those in our trial. The authors' results are based on a limited number of patients studied in a monocentric intensive care unit setting comparing postoperative PCT values with SOFA scores without showing immediate postoperative results and an overall observation period restricted to the first 5 postoperative days only. Therefore, meaningful conclusions about the usefulness of PCT determinations and SOFA scores should be drawn with caution.

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