What is Procalcitonin Test?
Procalcitonin (PCT) is a blood test frequently performed if there is a suspicion of bacterial sepsis, a severe systemic infection that can become life-threatening. The procalcitonin test is an easy way to make the diagnosis quickly and potentially save lives.
Why get tested?
This test is performed to determine the presence of sepsis and also to detect the potentiality of sepsis or any systemic infection. In case you gain symptoms that are suspectedly because of bacterial infections, then the medical experts may recommend you to go for this test to determine if the antibodies will be effective enough or not. Apart from this, monitoring the effectiveness of an antibody treatment is another major objective of this test. Most of all, identifying critical bacterial infections is also another mentionable objective of performing this test.
When to get tested
Sepsis is one of the most life threatening responses of a human body in response to a bacterial infection. When the signs and symptoms of systemic infection or sepsis are growing in you and you are already facing a critical illness, then the medical experts may suggest you to go for a procalcitonin test. The signs and symptoms may also grow because of bacterial infections and the doctors can perform this test to know if the antibodies will be effective enough or not.
Sample requirements and test preparations
A small amount of blood sample will be fetched from your vein by a medical expert to perform this test. No specific preparations are needed to appear for this test.
What is the use of the test
This test helps to determine the risks of sepsis.
It also helps to detect the presence and development of any secondary arterial infection.
This test is very useful in determining the presence of kidney infection in children.
This test is also performed to differentiate bacterial and nonbacterial causes behind an infection.
Low procalcitonin levels mean that the ill person has most possibility of not having sepsis. Similarly, high procalcitonin levels indicate higher possibilities of facing sepsis. People with any pre-existing bacterial infection may also get high procalcitonin levels detected. However, moderate elevations should be reviewed very carefully. Decreasing level of procalcitonin is the sign of a good response of the patient to the treatments.