Serum procalcitonin in cerebral ventriculitis.

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that serum procalcitonin is increased in patients with bacterial cerebral ventricular infections after the insertion of temporary external ventricular drains.
This open, prospective study included patients requiring temporary external ventricular drains for various neurologic conditions such as intracerebral hemorrhage with ventricular hemorrhage or space-occupying lesions in the posterior fossa (cerebellar infarctions or hemorrhages). Patients experiencing primary central nervous system infection or sepsis were excluded. Procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, and white blood cell count were measured daily. Cerebrospinal fluid was investigated every other day, including cerebrospinal fluid cell count, lactate, glucose, and cerebrospinal fluid culture. Results were categorized according to presence of bacterial cerebrospinal fluid infection as determined by positive cerebrospinal fluid cultures.
A total of 34 consecutive patients were included. Procalcitonin was significantly higher (4.7 vs. 0.2 ng/mL) in patients with proven bacterial ventriculitis. Cerebrospinal fluid cell count (456 vs. 478 cells/microL) could not distinguish bacterial infection from abacterial reactions, mainly because of blood contamination of the cerebrospinal fluid.
Cerebrospinal fluid of patients treated with temporary external ventricular drains is frequently characterized by blood contamination because of the insertion procedure, the underlying neurologic disorder such as ventricular hemorrhage, or the presence of an abacterial chemical ventriculitis. Thus, diagnosis of a bacterial ventricular infection requiring immediate antibiotic therapy is less certain. Serum procalcitonin adds to the diagnostic precision in bacterial ventriculitis.
AuthorsChristian Berger, Stefan Schwarz, Wolf R Schaebitz, Alfred Aschoff, Stefan Schwab
JournalCritical care medicine (Crit Care Med) Vol. 30 Issue 8 Pg. 1778-81 (Aug 2002) ISSN: 0090-3493 [Print] United States
PMID12163792 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Comparative Study, Controlled Clinical Trial, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Biomarkers
  • Protein Precursors
  • procalcitonin
  • Calcitonin
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers (blood)
  • C-Reactive Protein (analysis)
  • Calcitonin (blood)
  • Cerebral Ventricles (blood supply, microbiology)
  • Encephalitis (blood, cerebrospinal fluid, diagnosis)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protein Precursors (blood)
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Staphylococcal Infections (blood, diagnosis, microbiology)
  • Streptococcal Infections (blood, diagnosis, microbiology)

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