A systemic treatment with corticosteroids has been advocated for various bacterial infectious diseases. Since the production of CRP is down-regulated by corticosteroids, a smaller increase or a more rapid decrease of this acute phase protein will:
- suggest attenuated systemic inflammation, but
- does not necessarily reflect adequate therapy of the infection.
For several reasons (good diagnostic tool for sepsis, induction not decreased by immunosuppressive therapy), procalcitonin could be a better marker for activity of sepsis in patients under corticosteroids. As this issue has not yet been examined the investigators will prospectively study the time-course of PTC and CRP in a well-defined septic patient group, that in adjunction to antibiotic therapy also received systemic corticosteroid treatment and compare it to a similar group without corticosteroid treatment.