Limited significance of procalcitonin in differentiation between sepsis and flare of a rheumatic disease

Authors: H. Dejmková 1;  O. Šléglová 1;  R. Bečvář 1;  K. Pavelka 1;  J. Uhrová 2
Authors‘ workplace: Revmatologický ústav, Praha, 2Ústav klinické biochemie a laboratorní diagnostiky VFN, Praha 1
Published in: Čes. Revmatol., 17, 2009, No. 2, p. 79-82.
Category: Original Papers


The prognosis of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus has improved due to immunosuppressive therapy. This therapy together with immunological abnormalities associated with SLE leads to an increased risk of severe infections. Differentiation between flare of a disease and infectious complications is difficult. Procalcitonin is a biomarker which has been used mainly in patients in critical condition for the differential diagnosis of systemic inflammatory response syndrome and sepsis. The sensitivity and specificity of increased procalcitonin serum levels in case of an infection varies in different studies. This report presents a basic review of the knowledge on procalcitonin, and targets its potential use in rheumatology. Since the level of procalcitonin increases rapidly with a systemic bacterial or mycotic infection, and is not significantly affected by an autoimmune process or glucocorticoid therapy, it can be speculated, that procalcitonin could serve as a suitable supportive indicator in the differential diagnosis of these two situations. In this report, however, we present a case report which does not confirm this assumption.

Key words:
procalcitonin, sepsis, exacerbation of an autoimmune disease


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Dermatology & STDs Paediatric rheumatology Rheumatology
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