Aims & Background: The early diagnosis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) has
been considered important in the overall patient’s survival. Ascitic fluid culture examination performance,
in the emergency setting, is time-consuming and not always available, so there is a need for
easy to apply, rapid and reliable markers for diagnosis of patients with ascites. The present prospective
study aimed to determine the early diagnostic value of serum procalcitonin (PCT) levels in decompensated
cirrhotic patients (DCPs) with SBP.
Methods: 47 HCV cirrhotic patients with ascites were enrolled for this prospective study. The severity
of cirrhosis was classified based on the Child–Pugh criteria. All patients were subjected to paracentesis
and ascitic fluid (AF) culture. Serum PCT levels were measured using enzyme-linked fluorescence
Results: The diagnostic value of serum PCT levels and WBC/PLT ratios for detecting infections
were serum PCT levels (3.63 ± 3.47 ng/mL) in DCPs with infections which were significantly higher
than in DCPs without infections (0.505 ± 0.230 ng/mL); p < 0.05. The cut-off value for serum
PCT levels was 0.7 ng/mL for the diagnosis of infections in DCPs, for which the sensitivity and
specificity were 93.1% and 73.2%, respectively. The AUC was 0.91 (95% CI: 0.83-0.99).
Conclusion: Serum procalcitonin seems to provide satisfactory diagnostic biomarkers in SBP.