Use of a procalcitonin (PCT)-guided algorithm in patients with lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) led to a shorter duration on antibiotics without increased adverse outcomes, a recent study found. Researchers conducted a controlled pre-post trial in a US medical center comparing an intervention group of PCT-guided antibiotic therapy to a control group of usual care. The primary endpoint was median antibiotic duration. They found:
- 174 intervention patients and 200 controls were included.
- Providers complied with the PCT algorithm in 75% of encounters.
- PCT-guided therapy reduced median antibiotic duration for pneumonia from 7 days to 6 and acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from 4 days to 3 days.
- There was no difference in the rate of adverse outcomes between groups.
Townsend J, Adams V, Galiatsatos P, et al. Procalcitonin-guided antibiotic therapy reduces antibiotic use for lower respiratory tract infections in a US medical center: Results of a clinical trial. [Published online ahead of print December 3, 2018]. Open Forum Infect Dis. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofy327.
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