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Test code(s) 16265

The procalcitonin test is intended to be used in conjunction with other laboratory findings and clinical assessments to assess the risk of progression to severe sepsis and septic shock in critically ill patients.

<0.50 ng/mL: low risk for sepsis; local bacterial infection possible
>0.50 to <2.00 ng/mL: sepsis is possible; other conditions possible
>2.00 to <10.00 ng/mL: sepsis likely
>10.00 ng/mL: severe bacterial sepsis or septic shock probable

<0.10 ng/mL: bacterial infection very unlikely
>0.10 to <0.25 ng/mL: bacterial infection unlikely
>0.25 to <0.50 ng/mL: bacterial infection likely
>0.50 ng/mL: bacterial infection very likely

A strong correlation was observed between procalcitonin and calcitonin levels in patients with medullary thyroid cancer.1 Given that procalcitonin has greater analytical stability than does calcitonin, procalcitonin is a promising marker for the diagnosis and monitoring of medullary thyroid carcinoma.


  1. Algeciras-Schmnich A, Preissner CM, Theobald JP, et al. Procalcitonin: a marker for the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009;94:861-868.


This FAQ is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. A clinician’s test selection and interpretation, diagnosis, and patient management decisions should be based on his/her education, clinical expertise, and assessment of the patient.

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