Waikato, Auckland, and Hutt Valley District Health Boards, New Zealand
Background: Some patients with meningococcal disease (MCD) seeking medical attention create a diagnostic dilemma for clinicians due to the non-specific nature of their presentation. We have assessed the diagnostic accuracy of procalcitonin within the emergency department (ED), to clarify its role in the evaluation of MCD.
Methods: Two overlapping cohorts have been studied. Procalcitonin levels were measured in a cohort of patients with confirmed MCD diagnosed within the current New Zealand serogroup B epidemic, to assess the sensitivity of procalcitonin. In the second cohort, a large consecutively recruited ED population of febrile patients, enabled specificity and likelihood ratios of procalcitonin to be evaluated.