22 June 2016
This study was conducted to investigate whether point-of-care (POC) procalcitonin (PCT) measurement can reduce redundant antibiotic treatment in patients hospitalized with acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD).
One-hundred and twenty adult patients admitted with AECOPD were enrolled in this open-label randomized trial. Patients were allocated to either the POC PCT-guided intervention arm (n=62) or the control arm, in which antibiotic therapy followed local guidelines (n=58).
The median duration of antibiotic exposure was 3.5 (interquartile range [IQR] 0–10) days in the PCT-arm vs 8.5 (IQR 1–11) days in the control arm ( P=0.0169, Wilcoxon) for the intention-to-treat population. The proportion of patients using antibiotics for ≥5 days within the 28-day follow-up was 41.9% (PCT-arm) vs 67.2% ( P=0.006, Fisher’s exact) in the intention-to-treat population. For the per-protocol population, the proportions were 21.1% (PCT-arm) vs 73.9% ( P<0.00001, Fisher’s exact). Within 28-day follow-up, one patient died in the PCT-arm and two died in the control arm. A composite harm end point consisting of death, rehospitalization, or intensive care unit admission, all within 28 days, showed no apparent difference.