Sepsis is a leading cause of death in hospitals worldwide, placing a significant health and economic burden on both patients and healthcare institutions. An early and accurate diagnosis can save precious time, expense, and most importantly, lives. The Siemens Healthineers B·R·A·H·M·S Procalcitonin (PCT) Assay can aid healthcare providers in the diagnosis of sepsis.
Learn More about Sepsis
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs.1 If not recognized and treated quickly with appropriate antibiotics and supportive measures, sepsis can rapidly evolve into septic shock.
- Approximately 25% of patients with sepsis will develop septic shock, and up to 80% of patients with septic shock will die.2
What is PCT?
- When bacterial infection is present, PCT is released from virtually every type of organ and tissue in the body.
- Increasing serum PCT concentrations indicate increased severity of infection and a worse prognosis for the patient.
COVID-19 and Sepsis
Procalcitonin (PCT) is a biomarker widely used to assess risk in the setting of bacterial infection for progression to severe sepsis and septic shock in conjunction with other laboratory findings and clinical assessment. Procalcitonin can be used as an aid in identification of patients at lower or higher risk of 28-day mortality after diagnosis with severe sepsis due to bacterial coinfection. It has also been shown to be a valuable tool in the current COVID-19 pandemic, including as a recommended test for potential clinical significance in recognizing bacterial (super) infection.3,4
- Timely effective antimicrobial administration is associated with increased survival in patients with septic shock.5
- Every hour of delayed treatment decreases survival by 7.6%.5
- Increased procalcitonin values are associated with a nearly 5-fold higher risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection.6
- The IFCC identifies PCT on the Recommended Test List for potential clinical significance in recognizing bacterial (super) infection.4
Sepsis can affect anyone at any time
Siemens Healthineers B·R·A·H·M·S PCT Assay
There is a definite clinical need for earlier detection of sepsis. When seconds count, accurate results can make the difference between life and death.
- Identifying patients with sepsis early, when treatment is most likely to be effective.
- Knowing if the antibiotics applied are appropriate and effective.
- Predicting which patients are at the greatest risk of a poor outcome and require closer monitoring and care.
- Reducing high costs associated with treating patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.
- Differentiating sepsis from other inflammatory diseases, trauma, and other conditions whose clinical picture (signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings) is similar to sepsis.
- Reducing unnecessary antibiotic use and its associated costs and side effects.
Solution: The Atellica® IM B·R·A·H·M·S PCT Assay
- Helps achieve early sepsis risk assessment to help improve patient outcomes, including reduced morbidity and mortality with the ability to make confident decisions in minutes.
- Gain confidence when guiding antibiotic therapy with an assay that has optimal precision across the measurable range.
- Deliver reliable results from a proven, trusted technology that demonstrates high agreement with the B·R·A·H·M·S PCT sensitive KRYPTOR assay.
Interpretation of results: risk assessment for progression to severe sepsis and septic shock
Data support the following interpretative risk assessment criteria on first day of ICU admission:8,9
- PCT>2.0 ng/mL: Associated with a high risk for progression to severe sepsis and/or septic shock.
- PCT<0.5 ng/mL: Associated with a low risk for progression to severe sepsis and/or septic shock.
Note: PCT levels < 0.5 ng/mL do not exclude an infection, because localized infections (without systemic signs) may also be associated with such low levels. If the PCT measurement is done very early after the systemic infection process has started (usually < 6 hours), these values may still be low.
Learn more about what you need to know about COVID-19 and PCT testing:
Percent change in PCT level over time to aid in the prediction of cumulative 28‑day mortality in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock
How to use PCT as an aid in antibiotic decision making
Consider discontinuing antibiotics when:
Learn about the Surviving Sepsis Campaign
The Surviving Sepsis Campaign, an initiative of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine and the U.S. Society of Critical Care Medicine, was developed to improve the management, diagnosis, and treatment of sepsis, and to reduce the mortality rate from severe sepsis worldwide. The most recent evidence-based guidelines were published in 2016.10
Resources available from the campaign include:
- Resuscitation and sepsis management bundles: evidence-based guidelines for the management of severe sepsis and septic shock.
- Guidelines and instructions for implementing the campaign at medical facilities.
- Information for healthcare professionals.
- Information for the general public, patients, and their families.
- Educational opportunities.
To learn more about the Surviving Sepsis Campaign please visit:
For additional resources please visit:
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1. Singer M, et al. JAMA 2016;315:801-10.
2. Brun-Buisson C. Intensive Care Med 2000;26 Suppl 1:S64-74.
3. Huang Y et al., medRxiv preprint 2020, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.27.20029009
4. IFCC Information Guide on COVID-19 – September 28 updates, DOI: https://www.ifcc.org/ifcc-news/2020-03-26-ifcc-information-guide-on-covid-19/ . Accessed February 26, 2021.
6. Lippi G. & Plebani M., Clin Chim Acta 2020, March 4, DOI: 10.1016/j.cca.2020.03.004
7. Broyles MR. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2017;4. DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofx213.
8. Muller B et al. Calcitonin precursors are reliable markers of sepsis in medical intensive care unit. Crit Care Med. 2000; 28(4):977–983.
9. Harbarth S, Holeckova K, Froidevaux C, et al. Diagnostic value of procalcitonin, interleukin-6, and interleukin-8 in critically ill patients admitted with suspected sepsis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001;164(3):396-402.
10. Rhodes A, et al. Crit Care Med 2016;45(3):486-552.