Procalcitonin (PCT) Test measures the levels of prohormone procalcitonin (PCT) in the blood. This test helps to identify the presence, severity, and management of systemic bacterial infections in the body.
What is Procalcitonin?
Procalcitonin is a protein prohormone produced by the thyroid gland. It is used in the formation of calcitonin which plays a role in the maintenance of levels of calcium and phosphates in the body. A few cells present in the lungs and intestine also produce procalcitonin in response to bacterial infections. The level of procalcitonin in the blood is useful in identifying whether the infection is caused due to bacteria or viruses.
Why is this test performed?
Your doctor may recommend this test if an individual is experiencing symptoms such as fever, sweating, breathlessness (in case of respiratory infections), etc.
Your doctor may ask to perform this test in case of serious bacterial or fungal infections, injury, burns, inflammation, kidney infections and conditions such as pancreatitis, bacteremia, sepsis, urinary tract infections, meningitis, etc.
This test may also be used to monitor the response in individuals receiving treatment for systemic bacterial infections. Your doctor may recommend testing for C-Reactive protein along with this test to rule out the exact cause of the symptoms/conditions.
How often is this test performed?
Your doctor may recommend this as a diagnostic test to identify if the disease or condition is caused due to the presence of bacteria/fungi or virus.
Your doctor can also recommend this test as a followup to monitor the effectiveness of the advised antibiotic treatment and modify in any.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Procalcitonin. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Procalcitonin.
No specific preparations are necessary for this test.
No medical intervention is necessary if your test results fall within the normal reference range
High levels of procalcitonin in the blood indicate the presence of severe systemic bacterial infection within the body. Individuals with increased procalcitonin levels are suspected to have a serious bacterial or fungal infection, trauma, acute pancreatitis, burn injuries, multi-organ failure, etc.
|MALE||All age groups||< 0.15ng/ml|
|FEMALE||All age groups||< 0.15ng/ml|