Table 2—

Evidence from intervention studies of respiratory tract infections with procalcitonin(PCT)-guided antibiotic (AB) therapy

ARTIBronchitisPneumonia
StudyProRESPProCOLDProCAP
SettingEmergency deptHospital
DesignIntervention studies
Patients n243226302
Median PCT μg·L−10.250.10.5
AB initiation ↓ %444014
Duration ↓13 to 6 days
Hospitalisation %788097
Adverse events %101620
  • In the ProRESP study, PCT guidance reduced AB prescription in 243 patients with lower respiratory tract infections by almost 50% 19. In the ProCAP study, PCT-guided AB duration was shortened by 65% from 12.9 to 5.8 days, with a similar outcome in patients with all severities of community-acquired pneumonia 20. In the ProCOLD study, the current authors demonstrated long-term safety with a similar re-admission rate over 6 months in >200 acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with markedly reduced PCT-guided AB use 21. ARTI: acute respiratory tract infection.