COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Get the latest public health information from CDC:

Get the latest research information from NIH: Menu

Procalcitonin Levels in Patients With Fever and a Central Line

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01175005
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 4, 2010
Results First Posted : April 27, 2011
Last Update Posted : May 30, 2011
Information provided by:
Phoenix Children's Hospital

Brief Summary:

Procalcitonin (PCT) is one of many inflammatory markers which rises in response to infection. Many studies have shown this marker to be more indicative of a patient's clinical course in comparison to other inflammatory markers, such as Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and C reactive protein (CRP), when assessing a patient's risk for serious infection. A particular population with potential for serious infection is that of the patient with fever and a central line, most often secondary to an oncologic disease. These patients are often neutropenic and unable to fight off infection, thereby rendering them extremely vulnerable to rapid declines in clinical status. By identifying a level of procalcitonin which is significant as a threshold for serious bacterial infection, the investigators can very early on identify the sickest patients and those who could potentially have a worse clinical course and/or outcome.

The primary study goal is to identify whether a level of procalcitonin exists above which rates of bacteremia or serious bacterial infections in patients with fever and a central line exist. The investigators will try to determine if levels of PCT correlate with bacterial infection in line sepsis in the specific population of patients who most often have a central line secondary to an oncologic process. The investigators proposed this theory since peak values of PCT have been shown to be elevated in acute settings making it a useful tool in this particular population.

Condition or disease

Detailed Description:

A prospective study in which patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with fever and a central line will have procalcitonin levels checked, along with their CBC and blood culture. Procalcitonin levels will be recorded and blood culture results will be followed to see whether higher procalcitonin levels correlate with a greater risk of having a positive blood culture.

A prospective study will be conducted on patients with fever and a central line who present to the Emergency Department. Written informed consent will be obtained for each patient. We will include all patients 18 years of age and younger and exclude patients who had received antibiotics within the previous 24 hours of presenting to the ED as studies have shown that PCT levels dramatically decrease with the institution of antibiotic therapy. Patients will be identified on presentation to our ED with a chief complaint of "Fever and Central Venous Catheter". Diagnosis of sepsis will be made by clinical findings (fever, chills, altered mental status…) and confirmed by laboratory findings (leukocytosis or leucopenia with neutropenia, and later positive blood cultures). Management of each individual patient was determined by the pediatric emergency medicine physician in consult with a pediatric hematologist-oncologist and, in required cases, by an intensivist.

On presentation to the ED, all patients will have a CBC with differential, blood culture from the central line and procalcitonin levels drawn. All will receive empiric antibiotics initiated with either Ceftriaxone (if the patients is clinically stable and non-neutropenic defined as an Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC)>1500 cells/microliter) or with Cefepime and Gentamicin in the neutropenic or ill appearing patient.

Electronic medical records will be reviewed for patient demographics, medical and social history and clinical presentation. Medical records during admission will be used to follow the progression and hospital stay as well as the management used. Office records will be used for post admission outcomes.

Levels of PCT will be determined using the Brahms Kryptor compact which required a minimum of 200 microliters of plasma, serum or whole blood to run a PCT level and could detect a level as low as <0.02ng/ml within 20-25 minutes. Levels reported as <0.05ng/ml are considered not indicative of sepsis while levels >2 ng/ml are indicative of high sepsis probability. Levels in between 0.05 and 2 suggest a repeat level be drawn after 24 hours.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 62 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Procalcitonin as a Marker of Serious Infection in Patients With Fever and a Central Venous Catheter
Study Start Date : May 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : September 2010
Actual Study Completion Date : September 2010

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Fever

Fever and a central venous catheter

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Procalcitonin Level at ED Presentation [ Time Frame: Initial blood draw in ED and if admitted a second level will be obtained at 24 hours. ]
    Level of procalcitonin will be obtained. At the end of the study we will determine who was septic or bacteremic and compare the procalcitonin levels between those who were septic/bacteremic and those who were not.We will attempt to identify whether a level of procalcitonin exists above which rates of bacteremia or bacterial sepsis in patients with fever and a central line exist. Blood cultures will be followed for up to 5 days until reported as final.There are no further study interventions.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 18 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Patients with fever and a central venous catheter who are 18 years of age and younger will be enrolled and will have PCT levels drawn in the Emergency Department.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18 years of age and younger
  • Fever and a central venous catheter
  • Presentation to an Emergency Department
  • Central line secondary to Hematologic/Oncologic, Renal or Gastrointestinal disease

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Intravenous antibiotics in the 24 hours prior to presentation
  • PICC line
  • Parental refusal or inability to provide consent

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01175005

Sponsors and Collaborators
Phoenix Children's Hospital
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Amanda Kasem, MD Phoenix Children's Hospital
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Amanda Kasem, MD Principal Investigator, Phoenix Children's Hospital Identifier: NCT01175005    
Other Study ID Numbers: PCH 10-042
First Posted: August 4, 2010    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: April 27, 2011
Last Update Posted: May 30, 2011
Last Verified: May 2011
Keywords provided by Phoenix Children's Hospital:
Central venous catheter
Fever with a central venous catheter
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Body Temperature Changes
Signs and Symptoms