Role of C-reactive protein and procalcitonin in discriminating between infectious fever and tumor fever in non-neutropenic lung cancer patients

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This study assessed whether C-reactive protein (CRP) and procalcitonin (PCT) levels can discriminate between infectious fever and tumor fever (TF) in non-neutropenic patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

This retrospective clinical study included 96 adults with NSCLC who were admitted to the Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University between July 2015 and July 2017. Febrile, non-neutropenic patients were enrolled. CRP and PCT levels, neutrophil count, and antimicrobial response were evaluated.

This study included 26 patients with TF, 49 with localized bacterial infection (LBI), and 21 with bloodstream infection (BSI). CRP levels in BSI were significantly higher than in TF (P < .05) and LBI (P < .05). No statistically significant difference was found between patients with TF and LBI (P > .05). PCT levels were significantly higher in BSI and LBI than in TF (P < .05). CRP and PCT levels in patients with stage IV disease were significantly higher than in those with stage II to III disease (P < .05). CRP and PCT levels declined significantly in patients with BSI who were responding to antimicrobials (P < .05).

Compared with CRP levels, PCT levels can discriminate between TF and infectious fever more accurately. PCT and CRP levels may predict different stages of lung cancer.

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