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Procalcitonin and C-reactive protein plasma concentrations in nonseptic uremic patients undergoing hemodialysis

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To assess procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) plasma concentrations and clearance in nonseptic end-stage renal failure patients undergoing their first three hemodialysis sessions.

Design and setting

Prospective observational consecutive clinical study at a university hospital.


The study recruited 55 end-stage renal failure patients without evidence of systemic infection undergoing the creation of an arteriovenous fistula to start hemodialysis for the first time.


Blood samples were collected before and after each of the first three (4–5 h) hemodialysis sessions. PCT was assayed by immunoluminometry.

Measurements and results

The mean plasma concentration of PCT prior to the first three hemodialysis sessions declined significantly following each session. There was no significant difference between CRP plasma concentrations before and after hemodialysis sessions.


The presence of an elevated PCT in plasma of not yet dialyzed uremic nonseptic patients indicates that uremia per se and not the dialysis process is the origin of such elevation. PCT levels declined with successive hemodialysis sessions. We propose that in the not yet dialyzed uremic nonseptic patients a baseline PCT level of approx. 1.5 ng/ml should be expected. Although the mean plasma CRP level was elevated, hemodialysis had no significant effect on CRP concentration, making CRP a possible useful marker of sepsis in these patients.

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Correspondence to Ashraf A. Dahaba.

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Dahaba, A.A., Rehak, P.H. & List, W.F. Procalcitonin and C-reactive protein plasma concentrations in nonseptic uremic patients undergoing hemodialysis. Intensive Care Med 29, 579–583 (2003).

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