Comparative Study of Plasma Endotoxin with Procalcitonin Levels in Diagnosis of Bacteremia in Intensive Care Unit Patients.

March 19, 2016 at 1:41 pm

Chin Med J (Engl). 2016 20th Feb;129(4):417-423.

Wang T, Cui YL, Lin ZF, Chen DC1.

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1Department of Emergency Medicine, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200003, China.



Both procalcitonin (PCT) and plasma endotoxin levels cannot be solely used for a definite diagnosis of bacteremia or sepsis, and there has been few study comparing the values of the two biomarkers for the diagnosis of bacteremia. The aim of this study was to identify bacteria causing bacteremia and evaluate the role of the two biomarkers in the diagnosis of bacteremia in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).


The medical records of 420 patients in ICU were retrospectively reviewed. Patients (n = 241) who met the inclusion criteria were subjected to blood culture (BC) for the analysis of the endotoxin or PCT levels. The exclusion criteria included the presence of infection with human immunodeficiency virus and/or AIDS, neutropenia without sepsis, pregnancy, treatment with immunosuppressive therapies, or blood diseases such as hematological tumors. Patients’ BC episodes were divided into BC negative, Gram-negative (GN) bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and fungi groups. The PCT and plasma endotoxin levels were compared in the different groups.


A total of 241 patients with 505 episodes of BC were analyzed. The GN bacteria group showed higher levels of PCT and endotoxin than the BC negative, Gram-positive bacteria, and fungi groups. GN bacteremia was more prevalent than Gram-positive bacteremia. The GN bacteremia caused by non-Enterobacteriaceae infection presented higher endotoxin level than that by Enterobacteriaceae, but no significant difference in PCT levels was observed between the two groups. The plasma endotoxin significantly differed among different groups and was bacterial species dependent.


Plasma endotoxin was more related to GN than to Gram-positive bacteremia, and that endotoxin level was species dependent, but PCT level remained relatively more stable within the GN bacteria caused bacteremia. Both GN and positive bacteria caused bacteremia in the ICU patients in different regions of China. And PCT is a more valuable biomarker than endotoxin in the diagnosis of bacteremia.




Entry filed under: Antimicrobianos, Bacterias, Bacteriemias, Health Care-Associated Infections, Infecciones nosocomiales, Metodos diagnosticos, REPORTS, Sepsis, Update.

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