Background. Measuring the serum and alveolar procalcitonin level as inflammatory marker in the diagnosis of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) has been taken into account. In this study, serum and alveolar procalcitonin levels in patients with suspected VAP and patients with confirmed VAP were compared.
Methods. This cross-sectional study was conducted using 50 intubated intensive care unit (ICU) patients, connected to ventilator, from October 2014 to April 2015. 50 patients with clinical pulmonary infection score ≥6 were divided into two groups. Patients whose bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) has shown the growth of more than 104 CFU/mL were included in confirmed VAP group and other patients were included in suspected VAP group. Serum and alveolar procalcitonin levels were measured and compared between both groups.
Results. Mean age of patients was 69.10 ± 42.13 with a range of 16-90 years, out of which 23 patients were male (46%) and 27 patients were female (54%). Moreover, patients’ mean clinical pulmonary infection score was reported to be 7.02 ± 1.07. There was a significant relationship between serum and alveolar procalcitonin in suspected patients and patients with an approved form of pneumonia (p = 0.001 and 0.027). Area under the curve for alveolar procalcitonin was 0.683 (sensitivity = 57%; specificity = 80%) and for serum procalcitonin 0.751 (sensitivity = 71%; specificity = 73%) for the diagnosis of VAP.
Conclusion. According to the results of the present study, we can diagnose ventilator-associated pneumonia earlier and more accurately by measuring procalcitonin level (particularly alveolar type) in intensive care unit patients.