Yale New Haven Hospital

Department of Laboratory Medicine
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Lab Section: 

Chemistry at SRC Core Lab


Lab Location: 


Test ID: 




Enzyme Linked Fluorescent Assay




1 hour for STAT orders; 4 hours for Routine orders

Specimen Requirements: 

Collection: No minimum volume indicated. Collect Blood in a Light Green Top Tube - Lithium Heparin.
Pediatric volume: 1 .
Transport: Light green needs to be spun and shipped at 2-8 degrees.
Handling: Spin before transport.
Unacceptable conditions: Unspun for greater than 8 hrs
Stability: 8 hrs Ambient;48 hrs Refigerated; 6 months Frozen



Clinical Indications: Procalcitonin is intended for use in conjunction with other laboratory findings and clinical assessments to aid in the risk assessment of critically ill patients on their first day of ICU admission for progression to severe sepsis and septic shock.

Procalcitonin is also useful for: 1. diagnosis of bacteremia and septicemia in adults and children (including neonates), 2. diagnosis of bacteremia and septicemia in adults and children (including neonates); 3.diagnosis of renal involvement in urinary tract infection in children 4. diagnosis of bacterial infection in neutropenic patients 5. diagnosis, risk stratification, and monitoring of septic shock 6. diagnosis of systemic secondary infection post-surgery, and in severe trauma, burns, and multiorgan failure 7.differential diagnosis of bacterial versus viral meningitis 8. differential diagnosis of community-acquired bacterial versus viral pneumonia 9. monitoring of therapeutic response to antibacterial therapy

Reference Interval: 

PCT <0.1 ng/mL - Bacterial infection highly unlikely. Consider alternative diagnosis
PCT 0.1 -0.25 ng/mL - Bacterial infection highly unlikely. Consider alternative diagnosis.

PCT 0.26 -0.5 ng/mL - Bacterial infection likely.

PCT >0.5 ng/mL - Bacterial infection highly likely.


Consider reassessment of PCT within 6 to 24 hours in:

1. All patients in whom antibiotics are withheld but who show clinical deterioration.

2. High risk patients with an initial PCT <0.25 ng/mL.

3. In patients in whom antibiotics are initiated, PCT levels should be reassessed every 2 days until PCT decreases to <0.25 mg/L (or by at least 80% to 90% from the peak level)


Falsely high/low levels of PCT:

Falsely high PCT: Examples include severe SIRS and shock, ARDS, trauma, postoperative, tumor (eg, medullary thyroid cancer, SCLC), fungal, malaria

Falsely low PCT: Examples include parapneumonic effusion, loculated infection (empyema), early phase of infection, fungal, most severe immunosuppression

CPT Code(s): 


Last Changed: 

7/3/2018 10:31 AM