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Current Issue - July 2023, Volume 17, Issue No. 2

Official Journal of Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and ASEAN Orthopaedic Association

Serum Procalcitonin (PCT) - Is there a Role as an Early Biomarker in Infected Diabetic Foot Ulcer (IDFU) Patients?


Introduction: Infected diabetic foot ulcers may lead to serious complications if not recognised in the early stage. Diagnosis of infection is particularly challenging at that stage; thus, a sensitive inflammatory biomarker may be helpful. We aimed to evaluate the role of procalcitonin (PCT) as an early biomarker for infected diabetic foot ulcers (IDFU).

Materials and method: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Klinik Rawatan Keluarga (KRK), Orthopedic clinic and wards in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) from May 2020 to December 2020. A total of 264 participants were recruited and divided into three groups: 50 diabetic patients with no ulcers (control), 107 patients with non-infected diabetic foot ulcers (NIDFU), and 107 patients with infected diabetic foot ulcers (IDFU). The level of PCT was taken for all patients. Total white count (TWC) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were taken only for IDFU patients. Diagnosis of infection was based on the Infectious Disease Society of America-International Working Group of Diabetic Foot (IDSA-IMWGDF), and the severity of infection was graded according to the Wagner Classification.

Results: The level of PCT was higher in IDFU than in NIDFU and diabetic patient, with a median (IQR) of 0.355 (0.63) ng/mL, 0.077 (0.15) ng/mL and 0.028 (0.02) ng/mL, respectively. PCT and CRP showed moderate positive correlations in IDFU patients (p<0.001). The sensitivity and specificity were 63.6% and 83.2%, respectively, at the best cut-off at 0.25 ng/mL.

Conclusion: PCT is a valuable biomarker for the diagnosis of infection; however, it adds little value in the early diagnosis of IDFU in view of its low sensitivity.

Abstract   |   Reference

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The Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year in both print and electronic online version. The purpose of this journal is to publish original research studies, evaluation of current practices and case reports in various subspecialties of orthopaedics and traumatology, as well as associated fields like basic science, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation medicine and nursing.

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