LUNG ALERT: Procalcitonin may guide antibiotic treatment for LRTI

De, P.
May 2004
Thorax;May2004, Vol. 59 Issue 5, p433
Academic Journal
It is often difficult to decide which patients with suspected lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) should be prescribed antibiotics. Circulating calcitonin precursors are higher in severe bacterial infections than in other illnesses. In this prospective single blind study 243 patients with suspected LRTI were randomized to a standard care group treated with antibiotics on the basis of clinical findings and routine investigations or a procalcitonin group guided by a new procalcitonin assay. The primary end point was the use of antibiotics. 80 percent subjects in the standard care group and 44 percent in the procalcitonin group received antibiotic treatment.


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