Evaluation of procalcitonin at James Paget Intensive Care Unit
© BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Published: 1 March 2010
Procalcitonin (PCT) offers the possibility of differentiating bacterial infection from viral or non-infectious reactions. PCT can be used to support decision-making on initiation or discontinuation or change of antibiotic therapy. Our aim was to determine the usefulness of PCT in our ICU.
PCT was measured once daily for all patients admitted to the ICU. Results were reviewed daily by intensivists and microbiologists and an appropriate decision about antibiotic therapy was made. We considered to stop antibiotics if the PCT was <0.5 ng/ml or had decreased to 80% of the peak value. CRP and clinical progression were also taken into consideration.
Frequently, discrepancy between PCT and other inflammatory markers were noticed, suggesting an inflammatory response or nonbacterial infection and not necessarily an indication for antibiotics. Regular assessment of PCT, when interpreted with clinical context, was helpful not only to decrease the duration of antibiotics but also to change the antibiotic regimen.