Higher cut-off serum procalcitonin level for sepsis diagnosis in metastatic solid tumor patients

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Objective: The current study aimed to know procalcitonin levels in patients with metastatic tumor, and to discover the cut-off point for sepsis in this population. A cross-sectional study was conducted with patients with solid tumor. Sepsis and systemic inflammation response syndrome (SIRS) were identified using clinical, laboratory, and microbiological criteria. The cut-off point was determined using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Results: A total of 112 subjects enrolled in this study, 51% male, mean age 47.9 ± 12.47 years. Among 71 (63.4%) patients who had metastasis, 36 (32.1%) had sepsis and 6 (5.3%) experienced SIRS. In the absence of sepsis, the procalcitonin levels were significantly higher in patients with metastatic tumor compared to those without [0.25 ng/mL (0.07-1.76) vs. 0.09 ng/mL (0.03-0.54); p < 0.001]. The ROC curve showed that levels of procalcitonin for sepsis in metastatic solid tumors were in the area under curve (AUC) [0.956; CI 0.916-0.996]. Cut-off point of procalcitonin for sepsis was 1.14 ng/mL, Sn 86%, and Sp 88%. Thus, the results show that metastatic tumor affects the patients' procalcitonin level, even in the absence of sepsis. The cut-off point of procalcitonin level for diagnosing sepsis in the meta-static solid tumor was higher compared to the standard value.

Original languageEnglish
Article number84
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2018


  • Metastasis
  • Procalcitonin
  • Sepsis
  • Solid tumor


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