Published online Dec 21, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i47.17773
Revised: July 7, 2014
Accepted: August 13, 2014
Published online: December 21, 2014
Intestinal ischemia is common after emergency gastrointestinal or cardiovascular surgery. At present, there are no diagnostic tools for the early diagnosis of intestinal ischemia. In the last decade, procalcitonin (PCT) has been suggested as a marker of this condition. Here, we review the use of PCT as a diagnostic tool for intestinal ischemia. Two reviewers independently searched the PubMed and EMBASE databases for articles on intestinal ischemia and PCT. They then considered (1) the criteria applicable to preclinical and clinical data; and (2) PCT’s predictive value in the diagnosis of intestinal ischemia. Article quality was rated according to the STAndards for Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy. Between 1993 and 2014, seven studies (including two preclinical studies and five clinical studies) dealt with the use of PCT to diagnose intestinal ischemia. Procalcitonin’s sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value ranged between 72% and 100%; 68% and 91%; 27% and 90% and 81% and 100%, respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve ranged from 0.77 to 0.92. In view of the preclinical and clinical data, we consider that PCT can be used in daily practice as a tool for diagnosing intestinal ischemia.
Core tip: The serum procalcitonin level is clinically relevant for the diagnosis of intestinal ischemia. In the diagnosis of intestinal ischemia, procalcitonin’s sensitivity is greater than 70% and its negative predictive value is greater than 80%.