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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 68-72

Evaluation of procalcitonin as a biomarker for bacterial and nonbacterial community-acquired pneumonia in children

1 Department of Child Health, National Research Centre, Faculty of Science, Suez University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Suez University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Maysa S Nassar
Department of Child Health, National Research Centre, El Buhooth Street, Dokki, PO Box 12311, Cairo, 12311
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jasmr.jasmr_19_17

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Background/aim The aims of the present study were to investigate the role of procalcitonin (PCT) as a diagnostic biomarker for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in children and its value to distinguish between bacterial and nonbacterial infections. Patients and methods The study enrolled 64 children admitted to the Department of Pediatrics at El-Helal Specialized Hospital of Pediatrics, Cairo, for clinical and radiological evidence of CAP, aged from 1 month to 7.5 years. They were divided into two groups according to pathogen detection: group I comprised bacterial pneumonia (33 cases) and group II included nonbacterial pneumonia (31 cases). In addition, 37 healthy children were also enrolled as a control group. Full clinical examination was conducted, and venous blood samples were taken from all participants for the assessment of complete blood count, serum levels of PCT by ELISA, and C-reactive protein (CRP) by latex agglutination technique. Results PCT and CRP levels in peripheral blood were significantly higher (P<0.001) in all children with pneumonia compared with controls (357.4±70.8, 18.8±5.1, vs. 121.5±21.3, 5.61±1.82, respectively). Serum PCT level was higher in the bacterial pneumonic group compared with those with nonbacterial pneumonia (P<0.001). There was also a positive correlation between PCT level and both CRP (P≤0.05), and leukocytic count (P<0.05). Conclusion PCT can be considered as an important indicator for CAP and can be used for differentiation between bacterial and nonbacterial pneumonia.

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