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Early diagnosis of Acute Osteomyelitis (OM) and Septic Arthritis (SA) is of vital importance to avoid devastating complications. There is no single laboratory marker which is sensitive and specific in diagnosing these infections accurately. Total Count, ESR and CRP are not specific as they can also be elevated in non pyogenic causes of inflammation. Pus Culture and sensitivity is not a true gold standard due to its varied positivity rates (40 - 70%). Serum Procalcitonin (PCT), at 0.5 ng/ml is found to be an accurate marker for pyogenic infections. The objectives of this study were to show that PCT is an accurate marker in differentiating Acute Osteomyelitis and Septic Arthritis from viral and non infective inflammatory bone and joint conditions. Patients of all age groups (n = 82) with suspected Acute Osteomyelitis and Septic Arthritis were prospectively included in this study. All patients were subjected to TC, CRP, PCT, IgM Dengue, IgM Chikungunya, pus and blood culture and sensitivity. At the end of the study, patients were classified into 3 groups: Group 1 = Confirmed Pyogenic (n = 27); Group 2 = Presumed Pyogenic (n = 21); Group 3 = Non - infective inflammatory (n = 34). Group 1 has higher mean PCT levels than Group 2 and 3 (p < 0.05). PCT, at 0.4 ng/ml, was 85.2% sensitive and 87.3% specific in diagnosing Septic Arthritis and Acute Osteomyelitis. In comparison, PCT at conventional cut - off of 0.5 ng/ml is 66.7% sensitive and 91% specific. Serum Procalcitonin, at a cut - off of 0.4 ng/ml, is a sensitive and specific marker in the diagnosis of Septic Arthritis and Acute Osteomyelitis.

Citation

Karthikeyan Maharajan, Dilip Kumar Patro, Jagdish Menon, Ananthanarayanan Palghat Hariharan, Sabhash Chandra Parija, Murali Poduval, Sreenivas Thimmaiah. Serum Procalcitonin is a sensitive and specific marker in the diagnosis of septic arthritis and acute osteomyelitis. Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research. 2013 Jul 04;8:19

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PMID: 23826894

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