This review outlines the main indications for the measurement of procalcitonin (PCT) on the intensive care unit (ICU): diagnosis or exclusion of sepsis (severe sepsis, septic shock) and assessment of severity and course of sepsis-related systemic inflammation, control of focus and response to antibiotic therapy. Follow up measurements of PCT are frequently done on the ICU and recommended to individualize decisions regarding the indication and duration of antibiotic therapy. Studies related to this topic and also the practical experience with the routine use of this marker as a guide to treatment are summarized in this review. Furthermore, conditions, which may increase PCT independently from sepsis, are prevalent in ICU patients and will also be discussed.
Back to issue - Download PDF