Respiratory Department, HeNan Provincial People's Hospital, China.
Object: To assess the clinical value of procalcitonin to guide antibiotic therapy in acute exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Methods: Patients with acute exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were randomly assigned to the procalcitonin-guided group (antibiotic use guided by a procalcitonin threshold of 0.25 ng/ml) or the routine treatment group (antibiotic use according to routine practice). Follow up of clinical outcomes were assessed at baseline and 30 days later. Results: Baseline characteristics including demographics, clinical characteristics and laboratory results were similar between groups. PCT guidance resulted in a significant reduction of antibiotic treatment duration (8.7±6.6 compared to 14.2±5.2 days in the routine treatment group). Fewer patients were exposed to antibiotics treatment in the PCT group (26 patients) compared with the control group (35 patients). Treatment success, mortality rate, days of hospitalization and ventilation therapy were similar between the two groups. Conclusion: Procalcitonin-guided antibiotic therapy of patients with acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis may result in reduced exposure to antibiotics without adversely affecting patient outcomes.
Keywords: procalcitonin, antibiotic use, acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (AE-IPF).