Procalcitonin-guided therapy reduces antibiotic use duration

Using a procalcitonin algorithm to guide antibiotic therapy may help improve antibiotic stewardship efforts, according to a study published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

Procalcitonin levels in the body can help indicate bacterial infection as well as the efficacy of antibiotic therapy.

Researchers compared an intervention patient group who received PCT-guided antibiotic therapy to a control group who received usual care. They enrolled 174 patients in the intervention group and 200 in the control group. The patients received antibiotics for lower respiratory tract infections.

Researchers found that providers complied with the PCT algorithm in 75 percent of encounters. PCT-guided therapy reduced median antibiotic use duration for pneumonia from seven days to six days. It also reduced antibiotic use duration for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from four days to three days.

The researchers did not find any difference in the rate of adverse outcomes in the intervention and control groups.

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