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The early inflammatory response after liver transplantation (LTx) could be diagnosed by the simultaneous interpretation of procalcitonin (PCT) levels and culture results. The aim of this prospective, non-interventional study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of the PCT levels in the term of etiology (infection, colonization and non-infectious inflammatory states).
The PCT measurements and cultures were performed before surgery and on the first five postoperative days in 114 liver transplanted patients. The relationship between the absolute PCT levels (n = 762) and culture results (n = 474) was studied. The patients were divided into two groups according to the infection or colonization with Gram-positive (GP) or Gram-negative (GN) bacteria. Statistical analysis was done with the SPSS program.
In 21 patients negative cultures were associated with PCT elevation (PCT: 3.77 ± 3.22 ng/ml), positive cultures were found in 107 patients, in 58 patients this was colonization (PCT <0.5 ng/ml). There significant differences between the PCT elevation according to the etiology culture (GN, n = 36, PCT: 17.55 ± 11.3 ng/ml; GP, n = 222, PCT: 16.54 ± 6.58 ng/ml; P < 0.02).
In the early phase after liver transplantation, the GP culture occurred more frequently; the GN culture could be associated with higher PCT elevation than those found in case of GP culture.