Procalcitonin-guided antibiotic therapy for suspected and confirmed sepsis of patients in a surgical trauma ICU: a prospective, two period cross-over, interventional study
Background: Biomarkers like procalcitonin (PCT) are an important antimicrobial stewardship tool for critically ill patients. There is little evidence regarding the use of PCT-guided antibiotic algorithms in developing countries. Evidence is also lacking for PCT-based antibiotic algorithms in surgical trauma patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).
Methods: A prospective, two period cross-over study was conducted in a surgical trauma intensive care unit in South Africa. In the first period, 40 patients were recruited into the control group and antibiotics were discontinued as per standard of care. In the second period, 40 patients were recruited into the procalcitonin group and antibiotics were discontinued if the PCT decreased by ≥ 80% from the peak PCT level, or to an absolute value of less than 0.5 μg/L. Antibiotic duration of treatment was the primary outcome. Patients were followed up for 28 days from the first sepsis event.
Results: For the first sepsis event the PCT group had a mean antibiotic duration of 9.3 days while the control group had a mean duration of 10.9 days (p = 0.10). Patients in the intervention group had higher mean (SD) antibiotic free days alive of 7.7 (6.57) days compared to the control group mean (SD) of 3.8 (5.22) days, (p = 0.004). In-hospital mortality rate was lower in the intervention group (15%) compared to the control group (30%) and was statistically significant (p = 0.045).
Conclusion: There was no significant difference in duration of antibiotic treatment between the two groups. However, the PCT group had more antibiotic free days alive and lower in-hospital mortality compared to the control group.
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