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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 282-286

Procalcitonin levels in COVID-19 patients in a tertiary care center

Department of General Medicine, ESIC-PGIMSR Model Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vaibhav S Bellary
Plot No 207, Sector 51, Saptagiri, Buda, Laxmitek, Belgaum - 590 001, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_81_22

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BACKGROUND: Procalcitonin (PCT) is a glycoprotein calcitonin prohormone released by the thyroid parafollicular cells. In case of a microbial infection, PCT synthesis can be stimulated by the elevation of proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-6, interleukin-1b, and tumor necrosis factor-α. These mediators are massively involved in the so-called cytokine storm, typical of the progression from the viremic to the hyperinflammatory stage of COVID-19 and characterized by the onset of respiratory symptoms and interstitial pulmonary infiltrates. Thus, PCT elevation may represent a direct consequence of the COVID-19 cytokine storm and could also be interpreted as a “viral sepsis” syndrome. AIM: (1) To estimate serum PCT levels in patients with COVID-19 infection. (2) To access PCT level as a predictor of mortality. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a total of 200 patients in Bengaluru during the study period from March 2021 to July 2021. A case record form with follow-up chart was used to record the duration of disease, history of treatment, and complications. Patients underwent biochemical investigations and PCT level. RESULTS: The study includes 200 patients; the majority were above 50 years of age group. Out of 200 patients, 170 were discharged and 30 died. The mean PCT level was 4.44 ± 45.34 ng/ml. PCT in those who are discharged was 1.25 ± 8.81 ng/ml and compared to those who died was 28.06 ± 128.4 ng/ml. This difference was statistically significant (P = 0.00). CONCLUSION: PCT can be used as a prognostic biomarker in COVID-19 patients; initially elevated levels may be used as a prognostic indicator of severity, deteriorating clinical picture, and even mortality.

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