The value of procalcitonin measurement in localized skin and skin structure infection, diabetic foot infections, septic arthritis and osteomyelitis

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Serum procalcitonin (PCT) is an established diagnostic marker for severe or systemic bacterial infections such as pneumonia, sepsis and septic shock. Data regarding the role of PCT in localized infections without systemic inflammatory response syndrome are scarce. The aim of this review is to assess the value of PCT measurements in localized infections such as skin and skin structure infections, diabetic foot infections, septic arthritis (SA) and osteomyelitis. It appears that serum PCT is unlikely to change the clinical practice in skin and skin structure infection. However, serum PCT could have a role in diagnosis and monitoring of diabetic foot infections in hospitalized settings. There are conflicting reports regarding the ability of serum PCT to distinguish SA from non-SA; synovial PCT may be more appropriate in these settings, including in implant-related infections. Better designed studies are needed to evaluate the usefulness of PCT with or without other biomarkers in localized infections.

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