Although procalcitonin (PCT) is a valid marker for early diagnosis of bacterial infections, its accuracy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic significance of PCT in patients with unresectable HCC treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE).
A total of 509 patients with unresectable HCC initially treated with TACE were enrolled in this retrospective study. According to quartile of the PCT values, all patients were divided into 4 groups. Overall survival (OS) was evaluated with the Kaplan–Meier method. Significant difference was estimated with the Log rank method. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used for evaluating the significance of the prognostic factor.
The median follow-up period was 18 months and there were significant differences in the survival rates between the 4 groups. The HR (95% CI) for all-cause mortality comparing patients with PCT Quartile2–4 to patient with Quartile1 (HR = 1.00) were 1.353 (1.023–1.791), 1.799 (1.354–2.390), 1.960 (1.455–2.639), respectively, (P < .001). PCT level was an important prognostic factor for predicting the prognosis of patients with unresectable HCC treated with TACE.