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The Role of Serum Procalcitonin in Predicting Bacterial Sepsis in Patients with Hypothyroidism

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Year of publication
Context: Serum levels of procalcitonin (PCT), a protein produced by the thyroid C cells under physiologic conditions, are high during sepsis. Objective(s): To assess the test performance of serum PCT in predicting bacterial sepsis and septic shock in patients with hypothyroidism compared with those who have euthyroidism. Design and Methods: This retrospective study evaluated patients with no history of thyroid dysfunction (euthyroid), primary hypothyroidism [medical hypothyroidism (MH)], and postsurgical hypothyroidism from total thyroidectomy (TT) identified from a prospectively maintained database who had PCT testing from 2005 to 2018. Quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score >= 2 or positive bacterial cultures identified bacterial sepsis, and a mean arterial pressure less than 65 mm Hg or a vasopressor requirement defined septic shock. Sensitivity and specificity of PCT for evaluation of bacterial sepsis and septic shock were measured. Result(s): We identified 217 euthyroid patients, 197 patients with MH, and 84 patients with TT. Bacterial sepsis was found in 98 (45.2%), 92 (46.7%), and 36 (42.9%) of these patients, respectively (P > 0.05). Septic shock was identified in 13 (6.0%), 13 (6.6%), and 5 (6.0%) patients (P > 0.05), respectively. With use of a PCT cutoff of 0.5 mug/L for bacterial sepsis, the sensitivity was 59%, 61%, and 53% (P > 0.05) and specificity was 81%, 77%, and 81% (P > 0.05) for the diagnosis of bacterial sepsis in euthyroid, MH, and TT patients, respectively. With use of a PCT cutoff of 2.0 mug/L for septic shock, the sensitivity was 46%, 62%, and 63% (P > 0.05) and specificity was 86%, 82%, and 91% (P > 0.05) for the diagnosis of septic shock in these patients, respectively. Conclusion(s): Despite the thyroidal origin of PCT, hypothyroidism did not affect the diagnostic performance of serum PCT levels in predicting bacterial sepsis or septic shock.
Date added
Created by
Sarah Thomas
Published by
Current Awareness Service for Health