• Procalcitonin in newborns. Ambiguity of the evaluation

Procalcitonin in newborns. Ambiguity of the evaluation

SOVREMENNAYA PEDIATRIYA.2018.5(93):37-41; doi 10.15574/SP.2018.93.37

Tantsiura L. D.
Shupyk National Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, Kyiv, Ukraine

Procalcitonin is a marker of infection contamination, which is commonly used for early diagnostics of bacterial sepsis and a corresponding response to antibacterial therapy. Procalcitonin is synthesized in the normal condition in small amounts by the thyroid gland and is a peptide precursor of the hormone calcitonin. In a response to the contamination, lots of tissues and cells of the body start to produce procalcitonin, which enters the systemic circulation in large quantities. When interpreting the values of procalcitonin in blood plasma in newborns, their perinatal kinetics must be considered. In normal physiological conditions, the procalcitonin plasma concentration during the first days of life is increased. A contributor to the transient increase in the procalcitonin plasma level in healthy newborns is the rapid colonization of skin surface and mucous membranes by various microorganisms immediately after birth. The dynamics of the procalcitonin reduction in the preterm newborns is much slower than in the full-term ones, which is due to the metabolic features and immaturity of the excretory mechanisms. The cause of procalcitonin increase in neonates may be non'infectious factors. Consequently, threshold values of procalcitonin for the diagnosis of sepsis in the first few days of life differ from the standard reference ranges. Interpretation of the procalcitonin level in neonates should not be isolated and take into account clinical data.
Key words: procalcitonin, reference ranges, neonates, sepsis


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Article received: Feb 21, 2018. Accepted for publication: Sep 14, 2018.