Role of Procalcitonin in the Prognosis of Mortality in Patients Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit: A Review Study

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

4 Lung Disease Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Background: This review study aimed to investigate the role of PCT in the prognosis of mortality among patients admitted to the intensive care units (ICU). Procalcitonin (PCT) is a polypeptide and prohormone of calcitonin. This prohormone is secreted by thyroid gland C cells in response to hypercalcemia, and Its elevated level indicates infection, especially bacterial infections, in which there is a systematic response to infection.
Materials and Methods: This narrative review study was performed based on Cochrane collaboration recommendations for reviews. We reviewed all the titles and abstracts of published research articles with the following inclusion criteria studies aimed to confirm the function of a prognostic model in predicting mortality or survival, (b) mortality or survival of a specific endpoint (for example, 30 days), (c) patients admitted to intensive care units, and d) the articles written in English. The exclusion criteria of the current review included: (a) articles whose data were not specifically focused on prognosis of patients in ICU, (b) articles that did not provide sufficient information on the cause of death of patients in ICU, and (c) articles focusing on the treatment of comorbid patients with infections in ICU. The search was conducted on Google Scholar, PubMed, Magiran, ScienceDirect, and SID. Also, to search Iranian databases, including SID and Magiran, the same terms and expressions were searched.
Results: Based on the findings of this review, serum levels of PCT were reported within the range of at least 5 to more than 16 ng/ml in patients admitted to ICU. The mortality rate was estimated at 5.7% to 79% in these patients. Moreover, the incidence of sepsis was reported from 13% to 77.6%.
Conclusion: Serum levels of PCT as a prognostic factor may help early detection, and better classification of the poor prognoses sepsis patients and more invasive treatment of patients admitted to ICU and are at risk for mortality.