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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE 5 ( May, 2021 ) > List of Articles


Serum Procalcitonin as a Biomarker to Determine the Duration of Antibiotic Therapy in Adult Patients with Sepsis and Septic Shock in Intensive Care Units: A Prospective Study

SM Gowri Vishalashi, Pardeep Kumar Verma

Citation Information : Vishalashi SG, Verma PK. Serum Procalcitonin as a Biomarker to Determine the Duration of Antibiotic Therapy in Adult Patients with Sepsis and Septic Shock in Intensive Care Units: A Prospective Study. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021; 25 (5):507-511.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23802

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-05-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Background: Procalcitonin, a biomarker to adjudge the duration of antibiotic therapy in patients with sepsis. Materials and methods: A prospective, randomized, controlled, interventional, single-center study was conducted in a mixed adult intensive care unit (ICU). In a nonblinded study, 90 adult patients admitted to the ICU with sepsis and septic shock were randomized into group P (group procalcitonin) and group C (group control). The duration of antibiotic therapy was decided based on serum procalcitonin levels for patients in group P versus standard treatment protocols in group C. A procalcitonin value of <0.01 ng/mL or a subsequent decline of >80% from the baseline was cutoff and chosen to stop the antibiotic therapy. The primary aim was to compare the duration of antibiotic therapy (in days) in the two groups. The secondary objective was to compare and assess the length of ICU stay, reinfection, secondary infection rate, readmission rate, and mortality among the groups. Results: The mean duration of antibiotic therapy was significantly lesser in patients in group P (4.98 ± 2.56 vs 7.73 ± 3.06 days, p < 0.001). Patients in group C spent more days in ICU (8.80 ± 3.35 vs 5.98 ± 2.73 days, p < 0.001). The secondary infection rate was significantly higher in group C (26.7% vs 4.4%, p = 0.014). Readmission and mortality rates were comparable between the groups. Conclusion: Serum procalcitonin-based algorithm in critically ill patients with sepsis could lead to a reduction in the duration of antibiotic therapy, ICU stay, and associated morbidities like secondary infection rates. It further promotes antibiotic stewardship without any adverse effects on the patient's outcome.

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