Procalcitonin is a peptide produced by the body after contracting bacterial infections or receiving tissue damage. Procalcitonin levels in the blood elevate as a result of bacterial infections and sepsis. A procalcitonin test is used to check procalcitonin levels in the blood and to identify the presence of bacterial sepsis, which is a systemic bacterial infection that excessively spreads throughout the body. People who are at risk of developing sepsis include newborns and infants, the elderly, patients who have undergone surgery, people who use medical devices like catheters, diabetic patients, people with a weak immune system due to conditions like AIDS, and those having an untreated bacterial infection.
Read further to know more about the procalcitonin test in Kolkata, including its price and cost, side effects, procedure, etc.
A procalcitonin test is used if you are ill and develop signs and symptoms associated with sepsis.
Some of the indications and symptoms of sepsis are as follows:
The procalcitonin test measures the levels of procalcitonin in the blood. Procalcitonin is produced along with the thyroid hormone calcitonin. It is created by C-cells present in the thyroid gland and is present in low amounts in the blood. It can sometimes also be produced by other body cells as a result of certain bacterial infections. A virus usually does not elevate the procalcitonin levels.
There are usually no side effects or risks associated with a procalcitonin test. However, you might feel some pain for a few days in the area from where the blood will be taken using a needle.
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The procalcitonin test can be used for people who are in an emergency situation or have been admitted in intensive care units (ICUs) with signs and symptoms of sepsis. A procalcitonin test is performed to check the following:
No preparations are required for the procalcitonin test.
The procalcitonin test is performed by collecting your blood sample from a vein using an injection. The area from where the blood would be withdrawn would be first cleaned using some alcohol. You can later cover it with a gauze pad. The procalcitonin test can be done either at a hospital, laboratory, or clinic. Home collection services are also available.
Reference range: 0 to 0.05 micrograms per liter (µg/L)
The procalcitonin test can help us to check whether an infection is bacterial or viral. If the symptoms are extreme and the procalcitonin levels are low, a viral infection could be the cause. A proper treatment would be given for the same.
If your procalcitonin test results are within the normal reference range, no medical intervention is required.
Elevated procalcitonin levels can be caused due to a severe systemic bacterial infection. Procalcitonin levels above the normal range indicate a bacterial or fungal infection, trauma, acute pancreatitis, burn injuries, multi-organ failure, etc.
C-reactive protein (CRP), cultures (e.g., blood culture, urine culture), lactate, blood gases, complete blood count (CBC), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analyses are some of the other tests that can be used with the procalcitonin test.
High levels of procalcitonin signify a high risk of developing sepsis and septic shock.
Moderate increases in the procalcitonin levels can signify a non-infectious disease or an early bacterial infection.
A decrease in procalcitonin levels in someone who’s receiving a treatment for a serious bacterial illness shows the efficacy of the therapy.
Tissue injury from trauma, surgery, severe burns, pancreatitis, heart attacks, organ transplant rejection, advanced urinary tract infection in infants involving the kidneys, and viral illnesses like pneumonia can elevate the procalcitonin levels.
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