Diagnostic and Prognostic Roles of Procalcitonin and Other Tools in Community-Acquired Pneumonia: A Narrative Review

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Ozbay S., Ayan M., Ozsoy O., AKMAN C., Karcioglu O.

Diagnostics, vol.13, no.11, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/diagnostics13111869
  • Journal Name: Diagnostics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, INSPEC, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: pneumonia, bacteremia, sepsis, procalcitonin, diagnosis, biomarker, outcome, antibiotic stewardship
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is among the most common causes of death and one of the leading healthcare concerns worldwide. It can evolve into sepsis and septic shock, which have a high mortality rate, especially in critical patients and comorbidities. The definitions of sepsis were revised in the last decade as “life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection”. Procalcitonin (PCT), C-reactive protein (CRP), and complete blood count, including white blood cells, are among the most commonly analyzed sepsis-specific biomarkers also used in pneumonia in a broad range of studies. It appears to be a reliable diagnostic tool to expedite care of these patients with severe infections in the acute setting. PCT was found to be superior to most other acute phase reactants and indicators, including CRP as a predictor of pneumonia, bacteremia, sepsis, and poor outcome, although conflicting results exist. In addition, PCT use is beneficial to judge timing for the cessation of antibiotic treatment in most severe infectious states. The clinicians should be aware of strengths and weaknesses of known and potential biomarkers in expedient recognition and management of severe infections. This manuscript is intended to present an overview of the definitions, complications, and outcomes of CAP and sepsis in adults, with special regard to PCT and other important markers.