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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.638

CiteScore 2018: 2.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.191
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.205

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Volume 57, Issue 9


Evaluation of procalcitonin immunoassay concordance near clinical decision points

Allison B. ChamblissORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0461-8137
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Pathology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1200 N. State Street, Clinic Tower A7E113, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
  • Department of Pathology, Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC + USC) Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA, Phone: +323-409-7060, Fax: +323-441-8193
  • orcid.org/0000-0002-0461-8137
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Joshua Hayden
  • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jennifer M. Colby
  • Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA
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Published Online: 2019-02-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2018-1362



Procalcitonin (PCT) is a biomarker for systemic bacterial infections and may aid in decision making for antimicrobial stewardship. Numerous PCT assays are available on common clinical immunoassay platforms. However, questions remain about the harmonization of these assays and whether the same clinical decision points may be used with all methods.


Thirty-seven remnant patient serum samples were analyzed across four different PCT assays: Abbott ARCHITECT i2000, bioMérieux MINI VIDAS, Roche Elecsys cobas e 411, and BRAHMS KRYPTOR. Regression analysis was performed, and correlation was assessed at common clinical decision points for antimicrobial therapy: 0.10, 0.25, and 0.50 μg/L.


Data showed a positive bias of the MINI VIDAS compared to the KRYPTOR (slope=1.188, R=0.9873) and negative biases of both the ARCHITECT i2000 and cobas e 411 compared to the KRYPTOR (slope=0.806, R=0.8864, and slope=0.795, R=0.8974, respectively). A comparison of results at commonly used clinical decision points for antimicrobial stewardship showed that, relative to the KRYPTOR, 21% of samples would be classified into different interpretive categories by the ARCHITECT i2000 method, 31% of samples would be classified differently by the MINI VIDAS method, and 16% of samples would be classified differently by the cobas e 411 method.


All methods showed reasonable analytical agreement; however, an analysis of result interpretation at clinical decision points showed that many samples were differentially categorized (e.g. shifted by one interpretive category) by the methods. Overall, our findings support a need for harmonization of PCT methods. Until then, institutions should independently evaluate their PCT assays against predicate methods and consider the impact on result interpretation prior to incorporating PCT into clinical practice.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: harmonization; method comparison; procalcitonin


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About the article

Received: 2018-12-21

Accepted: 2019-01-21

Published Online: 2019-02-14

Published in Print: 2019-08-27

Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), Volume 57, Issue 9, Pages 1414–1421, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2018-1362.

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