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PCT-Guided Antibiotic Therapy

Procalcitonin (PCT) provides critical biomarker information. PCT is produced by numerous organs at a cellular level after bacterial pro-inflammatory stimulation.1,2

Procalcitonin is a host response to bacterial insult.3-5

Viral Infections inhibit PCT expression, enhancing the ability to distinguish bacterial infections from non-bacterial infections (PCT is not specifically indicated as a viral marker).

  • Bacterial infection stimulates PCT
  • Viral infection blocks PCT

PCT Algorithm

PCT Algoritm

Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (LTRI): PCT-Guided Therapy

LRTI Antibiotic Initiation Algorithm

For patients with suspected or confirmed lower respiratory tract infection (LTRI), defined as community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), acute bronchitis, and acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD).

PCT Value <0.1 ng/mL 0.1 - 0.25 ng/mL 0.26 - 0.5 ng/mL >0.5 ng/mL
Initiation of Antibiotic Use Recommendation Strongly Discourage Discourage Encourage Strongly Encourage
Clinical Considerations
  • Inpatients: If antibiotics are withheld, repeat measurement within 6 - 24 hours
  • Outpatients: reassess and/or repeat test if symptoms persist/worsen
  • Antibiotic therapy should be considered if clinical context indicates it is warranted
  • Follow-up samples should be tested at regular intervals and antibiotic therapy may be adjusted using algorithm for discontinuation

LRTI Antibiotic Discontinuation Algorithm

PCT Value <0.25 ng/mL ↓ >80% from peak
Discontinuation of Antibiotic Use Recommendation Encourage
Clinical Considerations
  • Consider continuing antibiotic therapy if clinical instability or disease progress present
  • If PCT remains high, consider treatment failure

PCT-Guided Antibiotic Therapy is Safe and Effective for Patients 

Significant reduction in antibiotic initiation

  • 19% reduction in relative antibiotic initiation in all patients
  • 39% reduction in initiation of antibiotics in ED patients

Significant reduction in exposure to antibiotics

  • 38% reduction in overall antibiotic exposure for inpatients
  • 51% reduction in overall antibiotic exposure for patients in ED

No adverse safety signals associated with PCT guidance for LRTI

  • No signal for increase in 30-day mortality, complications or length of stay

Sepsis: PCT-Guided Antibiotic Therapy

To learn about how PCT-Guided Antibiotic Therapy can be used to assess sepsis risk and severity, sepsis risk over time, and when to discontinue antibiotics in sepsis treatment, visit

PCT & Antibiotic Stewardship

  • Monitor PCT levels
  • Gain needed data to make better, more informed decisions
  • Additional guidance for initiation and discontinuation of antibiotic therapy
  • Improve prescribing practices to slow rise of resistant bacteria
  • Support CMS guidelines for antibiotic stewardship and infection prevention

So you can achieve the goal of giving antibiotics to the right patients, at the right time, for the right duration.

Learn More About VIDAS® B•R•A•H•M•S PCT™

VIDAS® 3 is a benchtop immunoassay system designed specifically for low throughput testing.  Fully automated, it is based on the proven and robust ELFA technology that mades VIDAS a gold standard worldwide for high quality on-demand test results.

  • Full traceability
  • Specialty menu available in single-test ready-to-use format
  • Bidirectional connectivity to internal and external networks



bioMérieux DIRECT™ Account Management System


1. Kumar A, Roberts D, Wood KE, et al. Duration of hypotension before initiation of effective antimicrobial therapy is the critical determinant of survival in human septic shock. Crit Care Med. 2006;34(6):1589-1596.
2. Müller B, White JC, Nylén ES, Snider RH, Becker KL, Habener JF. Ubiquitous expression of the calcitonin-I gene in multiple tissues in response to sepsis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001;86(1):396-404.
3. Linscheid P, Seboek D, Schaer DJ, Zulewski H, Keller U, Müller B. Expression and secretion of procalcitonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide by adherent monocytes and by macrophage-activated adipocytes. Crit Care Med. 2004;32(8):1715-1721.
4. Linscheid P, Seboek D, Nylen ES, et al. In vitro and in vivo calcitonin-I gene expression in parenchymal cells: a novel product of human adipose tissue. Endocrinology. 2003;144(12):5578-5584.
5. Linscheid P, Seboek D , Zulewski H, Keller U, Müller B. Autocrine/Paracrine role of inflammation-mediated calcitonin gene-related peptide and adrenomedullin expression in human adipose tissue. Endocrinology. 2005;146(6):2699-2708.


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