The results of a multisite, randomized controlled trial show that C-reactive protein (CRP) point-of-care testing resulted in decreased antibiotic prescribing for patients who have acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with no evidence of harm.
The authors of the study say the findings, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that CRP testing, which measures the level of a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation, can help clinicians avoid unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for a condition that is frequently treated with antibiotics, despite evidence that they aren’t always needed.
“The evidence from our trial suggests that CRP-guided antibiotic prescribing for COPD exacerbations in primary care clinics may reduce patient-reported use of antibiotics and the prescribing of antibiotics by clinicians,” the authors write.
Clinical criteria not enough to rule out antibiotics
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Jul 11 N Engl J Med abstract
Jul 11 N Engl J Med editorial