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Procalcitonin, blood

Lab area
Clinical Biochemistry - General
Method and equipment

B.R.A.H.M.S PCT by Abbott Architect iSystems

Expected turn-around time
STAT: 1 hour Urgent : 2 hours Routine : 3 hours
Specimen type

Plasma or Serum

Specimen requirements


SST - Gold Top Tube

PST - Mint Green Top Tube, 3 ml - Lithium Heparin Tube

Green Top White Label, 4 ml - Lithium Heparin Tube

Red Top

Storage and transportation

Specimens may be stored on or off the clot, red blood cell, or separator gel:  at room temperature = < 8 hours, or · at 2 - 8°C = < 48 hours

If testing will be delayed more than 72 hours, plasma or serum should be removed from the red cells, clot, or separator gel and stored at -10°C or = < 15 days

Shipping information
The Hospital for Sick Children
Rapid Response Laboratory
555 University Avenue, Room 3642
Toronto, ON
M5G 1X8
Phone: 416-813-7200
Toll Free: 1-855-381-3212
Hours: 7 days/week, 24 hours/day
Background and clinical significance

Procalcitonin (PCT) is a 116 amino acid protein prohormone of calcitonin (CT). Under normal metabolic conditions, hormonally active CT is produced and secreted in C - cells of thyroid gland after specific intracellular proteolytic activity. In healthy individuals, the intact PCT is not secreted from the thyroid and levels in the blood are very low. Response to inflammatory stimuli, including bacterial infection, induces an increased expression of the CALC-I gene production and secretion of intact PC from all parenchymal and differentiated cell types throughout the body. An increase in circulating PCT can be observed 2- 4 hours after bacterial induction and it may increase up to several hundred ug/ L in severe sepsis and septic shock. 

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