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Differential kinetics of plasma procalcitonin levels in cerebral malaria in urban Senegalese patients according to disease outcome

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P. falciparum malaria is directly responsible for near two million lives a year, and one is still on the quest for a prognostic marker of fatal outcome. This study analyses the association between serum levels of Procalcitonin (PCT), a marker of septic inflammation, and clinical outcome in 98 Senegalese patients, hospitalised with cerebral malaria.

Mean PCT levels were more elevated in patients with active infection, significantly higher on day 0 and onwards in the 26.5% of fatal cases, compared to that survivors (53.6 vs 27.3; P = 0.01). No clearly defined threshold level indicated an individual occurrence of fatality, however there was a clear different profile of evolution of PCT levels on the 3 days of observation: they significantly decreased by day 1 in surviving patients (P < 0.001), contrary to fatal cases, indicating that PCT level and kinetics could be of use to predict a reduced risk of fatality in patient with cerebral malaria.

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Correspondence to Babacar Mbengue.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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  • Clinical Outcome
  • Serum Level
  • Malaria
  • Threshold Level
  • Study Analyse