PCT: Normal, High, Low

PCT stands for procalcitonin, a substance produced by cells when the body’s infected with bacteria. So, a PCT test, by measuring the procalcitonin level in the blood, helps diagnose bacterial infections such as sepsis.

Reference Range:

Children younger than 72 hours:

  • <2.0 ng/mL at birth
  • ≤20 ng/mL at 18-30 hours of age
  • ≤15 ng/mL at 30-72 hours of age

Children older than 72 hours and adults:

  • ≤15 ng/mL

What does the result tell?

  • Low procalcitonin levels indicate a low probability/risk of bacterial infection.
  • Besides, if the person has symptoms while the result is low, it may be due to other conditions.
  • In addition, a low procalcitonin level also suggests an early infection that has not become serious.
  • On the other hand, a high procalcitonin level means a high probability/risk of bacterial infection.
  • Additionally, when there are slight elevations, it suggests a non-infections condition or an early infection.
  • Instead, a decreased procalcitonin level often comes with a response to bacterial infection treatment.


Keywords: PCT; Procalcitonin

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.