Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014, Article ID 286493, 5 pages
Review Article

Clinical Applications of Procalcitonin in Pediatrics: An Advanced Biomarker for Inflammation and Infection—Can It Also Be Used in Trauma?

1Department of Pediatrics, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, 3601 A Street, Philadelphia, PA 19134, USA
2Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
3Department of Neonatology, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA, USA
4First Department of Pediatrics, University of Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

Received 3 June 2014; Accepted 30 September 2014; Published 29 October 2014

Academic Editor: Raffaele Pezzilli

Copyright © 2014 Ioannis Koutroulis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Procalcitonin is a small molecular peptide that has gained increased support as an adjunct diagnostic marker of infection in the adult population; the concordant body of evidence for the use of procalcitonin in pediatric populations is far less complete. Objectives. Our objective is to review the current evidence supporting the utilization of procalcitonin in children in a variety of clinical scenarios including SIRS, sepsis, burns, and trauma and to identify existing knowledge gaps. Methods. A thorough review of the literature was performed utilizing PubMed. We focused on using meta-analysis from adult populations to review current practices in interpretation and methodology and find concordant pediatric studies to determine if the same applications are validated in pediatric populations. Results. Current evidence supports the usage of procalcitonin as both a sensitive and a specific marker for the differentiation of systemic inflammatory response syndrome from sepsis in pediatrics with increased diagnostic accuracy compared to commonly used biomarkers including complete blood counts and C-reactive protein. Conclusions. Although the body of evidence is limited, initial observations suggest that procalcitonin can be used in pediatric trauma and burn patients as both a prognostic and a diagnostic marker, aiding in the identification of infection in patients with extensive underlying inflammation.