Baseline procalcitonin as a predictor of bacterial infection and clinical outcomes in COVID-19: A case-control study

Link to article at PubMed

PLoS One. 2022 Jan 13;17(1):e0262342. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0262342. eCollection 2022.


PURPOSE: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is associated with a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms including acute respiratory failure. Biomarkers that can predict outcomes in patients with COVID-19 can assist with patient management. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether procalcitonin (PCT) can predict clinical outcome and bacterial superinfection in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2).

METHODS: Adult patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 by nasopharyngeal PCR who were admitted to a tertiary care center in Boston, MA with SARS-CoV-2 infection between March 17 and April 30, 2020 with a baseline PCT value were studied. Patients who were presumed positive for SARS-CoV-2, who lacked PCT levels, or who had a positive urinalysis with negative cultures were excluded. Demographics, clinical and laboratory data were extracted from the electronic medical records.

RESULTS: 324 patient charts were reviewed and grouped by clinical and microbiologic outcomes by day 28. Baseline PCT levels were significantly higher for patients who were treated for true bacteremia (p = 0.0005) and bacterial pneumonia (p = 0.00077) compared with the non-bacterial infection group. Baseline PCT positively correlated with the NIAID ordinal scale and survival over time. When compared to other inflammatory biomarkers, PCT showed superiority in predicting bacteremia.

CONCLUSIONS: Baseline PCT levels are associated with outcome and bacterial superinfection in patients hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2.

PMID:35025929 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0262342

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