Evaluation of Procalcitonin for Predicting Septic Multiorgan Failure and Overall Prognosis in Secondary Peritonitis: A Prospective, International Multicenter Study | Infectious Diseases | JAMA Surgery | JAMA Network
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Original Article
February 1, 2007

Evaluation of Procalcitonin for Predicting Septic Multiorgan Failure and Overall Prognosis in Secondary Peritonitis: A Prospective, International Multicenter Study

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of General, Visceral, and Vascular Surgery, University of the Saarland, Homburg/Saar, Germany (Drs Rau and Schilling); Department of Surgery and Gastroenterology, Pancreatic Unit, University of Verona, Verona, Italy (Drs Frigerio and Bassi); Department of Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland (Dr B[[uuml]]chler); Institute for Statistics and Econometry, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany (Dr Wegscheider); Department of Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland (Dr Puolakkainen); and Department of General Surgery, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany (Dr Beger).

Arch Surg. 2007;142(2):134-142. doi:10.1001/archsurg.142.2.134
Abstract

Hypothesis  Infections and sepsis are major complications in secondary peritonitis and still represent a diagnostic challenge. We hypothesized that the laboratory marker procalcitonin would provide an early and reliable assessment of septic complications.

Design  Prospective, international, multicenter inception cohort study.

Setting  Five European surgical referral centers.

Patients  Eighty-two patients with intraoperatively proven secondary peritonitis were enrolled within 96 hours of symptom onset.

Main Outcome Measures  Procalcitonin and the laboratory routine marker C-reactive protein (CRP) were prospectively assessed and monitored for a maximum of 21 consecutive days.

Results  Procalcitonin concentrations were most closely correlated with the development of septic multiorgan dysfunction syndrome (MODS), with peak levels occurring early after symptom onset or during the immediate postoperative course. No such correlation was observed for CRP. According to receiver operating characteristic analysis, a procalcitonin value of 10.0 ng/mL or greater on 2 consecutive days was superior to a CRP level of 210 mg/L or greater for predicting septic MODS, with sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 65%, 92%, 83%, and 81% for procalcitonin and 67%, 58%, 49%, and 74% for CRP, respectively (P<.001). Assessment of septic MODS was already possible on the first 2 postoperative days, with similar sensitivity and specificity. Persisting procalcitonin levels greater than 1.0 ng/mL beyond the first week after disease onset strongly indicated nonsurvival and were significantly better than CRP in assessing overall prognosis (P<.001).

Conclusions  Procalcitonin monitoring is a fast and reliable approach to assessing septic MODS and overall prognosis in secondary peritonitis. This single-test marker improves stratification of patients who will develop clinically relevant complications.

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