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VOLUME 17 , ISSUE 3 ( June, 2013 ) > List of Articles


Elevated procalcitonin is associated with increased mortality in patients with scrub typhus infection needing intensive care admission

John Victor Peter, Gunasekaran Karthik, Kartik Ramakrishna, Mathew F. Griffith, John Antony Jude Prakash, Victoria Job, Petra L. Graham

Keywords : Biomarker, intensive care unit, outcome, procalcitonin, scrub typhus

Citation Information : Peter JV, Karthik G, Ramakrishna K, Griffith MF, Prakash JA, Job V, Graham PL. Elevated procalcitonin is associated with increased mortality in patients with scrub typhus infection needing intensive care admission. Indian J Crit Care Med 2013; 17 (3):174-177.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.117063

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-06-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2013; The Author(s).


Context: Procalcitonin is a biomarker of bacterial sepsis. It is unclear if scrub typhus, a rickettsial illness, is associated with elevated procalcitonin levels. Aim: To assess if scrub typhus infection is associated with high procalcitonin levels and whether high levels portend a poorer prognosis. Setting and Design: Retrospective study of patients with severe scrub typhus infection, admitted to the medical intensive care unit of a tertiary care university affiliated teaching hospital. Materials and Methods: Eighty-four patients with severe scrub typhus infection that also had procalcitonin levels were assessed. Statistical Analysis: Relationship between procalcitonin and mortality explored using univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: The mean (±standard deviation) age was 40.0 ± 15.5 years. Patients were symptomatic for 8.3 ± 4.3 days prior to presentation. The median admission procalcitonin level was 4.0 (interquartile range 1.8 to 8.5) ng/ml; 59 (70.2%) patients had levels >2 ng/ml. Invasive mechanical ventilation was required in 65 patients; 20 patients died. On univariate analysis, admission procalcitonin was associated with increased odds of death [odds ratio (OR) 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03 to 1.18]. On multivariate logistic regression analysis including procalcitonin and APACHE-II score, the APACHE-II score was significantly associated with mortality (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.30, P = 0.004) while a trend was observed with procalcitonin (OR 1.05, 95%CI 1.01 to 1.13, P = 0.09). The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, AUC, for mortality was 0.77 for procalcitonin and 0.78 for APACHE-II. Conclusions: Procalcitonin is elevated in severe scrub typhus infection and may be associated with higher mortality.

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