Evaluation of procalcitonin-guided antimicrobial stewardship in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 pneumonia

Link to article at PubMed

JAC Antimicrob Resist. 2021 Aug 20;3(3):dlab133. doi: 10.1093/jacamr/dlab133. eCollection 2021 Sep.


BACKGROUND: Procalcitonin is a biomarker that may be able to identify patients with COVID-19 pneumonia who do not require antimicrobials for bacterial respiratory tract co-infections.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a procalcitonin-guided algorithm in rationalizing empirical antimicrobial prescriptions in non-critically ill patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

METHODS: Retrospective, single-site, cohort study in adults hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 pneumonia and receiving empirical antimicrobials for potential bacterial respiratory tract co-infection. Regression models were used to compare the following outcomes in patients with and without procalcitonin testing within 72 h of starting antimicrobials: antimicrobial consumption (DDD); antimicrobial duration; a composite safety outcome of death, admission to HDU/ICU or readmission to hospital within 30 days; and length of admission. Procalcitonin levels of ≤0.25 ng/L were interpreted as negatively predictive of bacterial co-infection. Effects were expressed as ratios of means (ROM) or prevalence ratios (PR) accordingly.

RESULTS: 259 patients were included in the final analysis. Antimicrobial use was lower in patients who had procalcitonin measured within 72 h of starting antimicrobials: mean antimicrobial duration 4.4 versus 5.4 days, adjusted ROM 0.7 (95% CI 0.6-0.9); mean antimicrobial consumption 6.8 versus 8.4 DDD, adjusted ROM 0.7 (95% CI 0.6-0.8). Both groups had similar composite safety outcomes (adjusted PR 0.9; 95% CI 0.6-1.3) and lengths of admission (adjusted ROM 1.3; 95% CI 0.9-1.6).

CONCLUSIONS: A procalcitonin-guided algorithm may allow for the safe reduction of antimicrobial usage in hospitalized non-critically ill patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

PMID:34430872 | PMC:PMC8378277 | DOI:10.1093/jacamr/dlab133

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