Procalcitonin as a biomarker to guide treatments for patients with lower respiratory tract infections

Link to article at PubMed

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2023 Aug 28:1-11. doi: 10.1080/17476348.2023.2251394. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Lower respiratory tract infections are amongst the main causes for hospital/intensive care unit admissions and antimicrobial prescriptions. In order to reduce antimicrobial pressure, antibiotic administration could be optimized through procalcitonin-based algorithms.

AREAS COVERED: In this review, we discuss the performances of procalcitonin for the diagnosis and the management of community-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia. We provide up-to-date evidence and deliver clear messages regarding the purpose of procalcitonin to reduce unnecessary antimicrobial exposure.

EXPERT OPINION: Antimicrobial pressure and resulting antimicrobial resistances are a major public health issue as well as a daily struggle in the management of patients with severe infectious diseases, especially in intensive care units where antibiotic exposure is high. Procalcitonin-guided antibiotic administration has proven its efficacy in reducing unnecessary antibiotic use in lower respiratory tract infections without excess in mortality, hospital length of stay or disease relapse. Procalcitonin-guided algorithms should be implemented in wards taking care of patients with severe infections. However, procalcitonin performances are different regarding the setting of the infection (community versus hospital-acquired infections) the antibiotic management (start or termination of antibiotic) as well as patient's condition (immunosuppressed or in shock) and we encourage the physicians to be aware of these limitations.

PMID:37639716 | DOI:10.1080/17476348.2023.2251394

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