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Serum procalcitonin predicting mortality in exertional heatstroke
  1. Hua-Sheng Tong,
  2. Yun-Song Liu,
  3. Qiang Wen,
  4. You-Qing Tang,
  5. Fang-Fang Yuan,
  6. Lei Su
  1. ICU, Guangzhou General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command, Guangzhou, China
  1. Correspondence to Lei Su, ICU, Guangzhou General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command, Postal address: 111 Liu Hua Road, Yue Xiu District, Guangzhou 510010, China; slei_icu{at}


Background The aim of this study was to test if Procalcitonin PCT value at the time of admission is a predictor of mortality and/or a diagnostic marker of concomitant infection in exertional heatstroke.

Methods 68 patients with exertional heatstroke admitted to the multidisciplinary intensive care unit were studied. Serum PCT was detected by means of a specific and ultrasensitive immunoluminometric assay within 2 h of admission. The Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score was evaluated within 24 h of admission.

Results There was no significant difference in PCT levels between concomitant infection and non-infection patients (p=0.712). Elevated PCT level in exertional heatstroke patients was associated with a more critical pathological state. PCT values in patients with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) were significantly higher than those without MODS (p=0.007.). PCT values were also positively correlated with APACHE II scores (r=0.588, p=0.016). PCT values in non-survivors were higher than in survivors at univariate regression analysis (p=0.017). After adjusting for confounders, PCT concentration also remained an independent determinant of mortality (OR 2.98; 95% CI 1.02 to 4.41; p=0.039). Receiver operating characteristic curve for PCT concentration was located above the reference line, which shows an association with mortality. The area under the curve for PCT concentration (0.705; 95% CI 0.547 to 0.862) was statistical significantly (p=0.019). As a predictor of mortality, PCT value was inferior to APACHE II score.

Conclusions PCT value at the time of admission is an independent predictor of mortality, but maybe not a good indicator of concomitant infection in exertional heatstroke.

  • Heatstroke
  • procalcitonin
  • intensive care unit
  • prognosis
  • acute medicine-other
  • environmental medicine
  • intensive care

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Review Board of the General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command in Guangzhou.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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