Background It is difficult how to differentiate bacterial infections from viral infections and to differentiate bacterial infections from other non-infective systemic inflammation. Especially in the patients with lack of neutrophil bacteria infection is usually life-threaten. The prognosis for those patients is high dependent on early diagnosis and treatment. We still feel confusing in spite of monitoring serum procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels with temperature.

Aim To find out whether PCT and CRP are helpful to differentiate bacterial infection and non-bacterial inflammation after use of anti-human T-lymphocyte globulin (ATG) in conditioning of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

Method Total 60 patients were involved in current study, who underwent HSCT and received conditioning included Cyclophosphamide, Fludarabine, ivBusufan, Thiotepa and ATG (at total dose of 5mg/kg for thymoglobulin, and 15-30mg/kg for ATG-Fresenius, respectively, on day-3 to -1). Blood samples were obtained in the morning from day-3 to 0 for testing PCT and CRP associated by daily recording temperature. Patients were grouped into Group 1 (G1, with antibiotics, n=30), Group 2 (G2, without antibiotics, n=30), Group 3 (G3, bacteria culture positive, n=7) and Group 4 (G4, bacteria culture negative, n=47)

Results The value of PCT was not significant difference when G1 vs. G2 (p=0.061), and G3 vs. G4 (p=0.891), but CRP value and temperature were of significant difference between G1 and G2 (p=0.001 and 0.000, respectively). When comparing G3 with G4, CRP was significant (p=0.021) but temperature was no (0.377). However, the deference of daily CRP value was proved not to be enough to do a differential diagnosis by ROC (AUROC=0.685, 0.665, 0.643 and 0.643 on day-3 to 0, respectively).

Conclusion The current study shows the value of PCT is insignificant to differentiate bacterial infection and non-bacterial inflammation after use of ATG in conditioning of HSCT.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

Sign in via your Institution