- Poster presentation
- Open Access
Use of procalcitonin as an aid to antibiotic prescribing in intensive care
© BioMed Central Ltd 2008
- Published: 13 March 2008
- Bacterial Infection
- Management Plan
- Specific Marker
- Inflammatory Disorder
Procalcitonin (PCT) is increasingly used as a specific marker for bacterial infection and sepsis. It has been shown to increase the accuracy of sepsis diagnosis at an early stage. PCT levels are low in viral infections, chronic inflammatory disorders or autoimmune processes. PCT levels in sepsis are generally greater than 1–2 ng/ml and often reach values between 10 and 100 ng/ml. An audit was carried out to ascertain whether a change in antibiotic prescribing occurred when PCT results were used in conjunction with white cell count (WCC) and C-reactive protein (CRP).
The audit was carried out over a 1-month period. All patients with suspected infection had their WCC, CRP and PCT measured. The consultant intensivist was blinded to the PCT result and asked for their management plan on the basis of all other blood tests and clinical assessment. The PCT result was then revealed and the management plan was then re-evaluated.
The use of PCT had a useful role in changing antibiotic prescribing in 26% of instances. Most commonly it leads to patients not having antibiotics initiated or reducing the change in antibiotics once started.
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- BRAHMS PCT International. [http://www.procalcitonin.com]
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.