In this trial of 1359 ED patients with lower respiratory tract infections (pneumonia, bronchitis, or COPD exacerbation), they were randomized to PCT-guided antibiotic therapy, or standard therapy. In the PCT group, antibiotics were initiated and discontinued based on pre-specified cut-offs in PCT levels. The PCT group had similar rates of adverse events compared to the control group (15% vs 19%), but had significantly shorter duration of antibiotic use in all 3 subgroups (pneumonia, bronchitis, and COPD) compared to the control group. PCT guided therapy in patients with lower respiratory infections may reduce antibiotic use (abstract).
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.