Procalcitonin as a predictor of severity and mortality in a cohort of patients hospitalised with COVID-19

Document Type



Pulmonary and Critical Care; Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Introduction: To evaluate the association of Procalcitonin (PCT) with severity in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), hospitalised patients and to test the hypothesis that it is an independent predictor of mortality.
Materials and methods: This study was conducted at Chemical Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University (AKU), Karachi Pakistan. Electronic medical records of all in-patients including both genders and all age groups with documented COVID-19 from March to August 2020 were reviewed and recorded on a pre-structured performa. The subjects were divided into two categories severe and non-severe COVID-19; and survivors and non-survivors. Between-group differences were tested using the Chi-square and Mann-Whitney's U-test. The receiver operating characteristic curve was plotted for serum PCT with severity and mortality. A binary logistic regression was used to identify variables independently associated with mortality. The data was analysed using SPSS.
Results: 336 patients were reviewed as declared COVID-19 positive during the study duration, and 136 were included in the final analysis including 101 males and 35 females. A statistically significant difference in PCT was found between severe and non-severe COVID-19 (p value=0.01); and survivors and nonsurvivors (p valueConclusion: Baseline serum PCT concentration is a promising predictor of mortality and severity in COVID-19 cases when considered in combination with clinical details and other laboratory tests.


The Malaysian Journal of Pathology