C-reactive protein testing to guide antibiotic prescribing for COPD exacerbations

New England Journal of Medicine Jul 17, 2019

Butler CC, et al. - Via a multicenter, open-label, randomized, controlled trial with patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), researchers examined the value of point-of-care testing of C-reactive protein (CRP) for lowering unnecessary antibiotic use without harming patients who have acute exacerbations of COPD. They randomized a total of 653 patients who consulted a clinician at 1 of 86 general medical practices in England and Wales for an acute exacerbation of COPD to either usual care guided by CRP point-of-care testing (CRP-guided group) or usual care alone (usual-care group). Observations revealed a lower percentage of patients who reported antibiotic use and who received antibiotic prescriptions from clinicians in primary care clinics in correlation to CRP-guided prescribing of antibiotics for exacerbations of COPD, with no evidence of harm.

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