Neonatal sepsis is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in neonatal period particularly in the developing countries. Early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis is essential since a delay in treatment can lead to neonatal death. Different investigative techniques are assessed for usefulness, either singly or in combination, for the early detection of neonatal sepsis. The results of blood culture may be negative despite presence of bacterial infection. Therefore, early diagnosis is difficult, despite advanced bacteriological techniques. Inflammatory markers can also be used for early diagnosis such as C-reactive protein but it does not reliably differentiate between systemic inflammatory response and sepsis. Therefore, there is a need to identify a biomarker by which an infected neonate can be identified rapidly before the onset of life threatening symptoms and for the promt institution of antimicrobial therapy, which improves outcomes. Assessment of Procalcitonin (PCT) in the serum may help in the rapid and accurate diagnosis of sepsis as it is a reliable and specific biomarker.
Dr. Jaspreet Singh
Department of Pathology, Govt. Medical College, Amritsar, India.
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