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Can procalcitonin help identify associated bacterial infection in patients with severe influenza pneumonia? A multicentre study

E. Cuquemelle| F. Soulis| D. Villers| F. Roche-Campo| C. Ara Somohano| M. Fartoukh| A. Kouatchet| B. Mourvillier| J. Dellamonica| W. Picard| M. Schmidt| T. Boulain| C. Brun-Buisson
Original
Volume 37, Issue 5 / May , 2011

Pages 796 - 800

Abstract

Purpose

To determine whether procalcitonin (PCT) levels could help discriminate isolated viral from mixed (bacterial and viral) pneumonia in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) during the A/H1N1v2009 influenza pandemic.

Methods

A retrospective observational study was performed in 23 French ICUs during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Levels of PCT at admission were compared between patients with confirmed influenzae A pneumonia associated or not associated with a bacterial co-infection.

Results

Of 103 patients with confirmed A/H1N1 infection and not having received prior antibiotics, 48 (46.6%; 95% CI 37–56%) had a documented bacterial co-infection, mostly caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (54%) or Staphylococcus aureus (31%). Fifty-two patients had PCT measured on admission, including 19 (37%) having bacterial co-infection. Median (range 25–75%) values of PCT were significantly higher in patients with bacterial co-infection: 29.5 (3.9–45.3) versus 0.5 (0.12–2) μg/l (P < 0.01). For a cut-off of 0.8 μg/l or more, the sensitivity and specificity of PCT for distinguishing isolated viral from mixed pneumonia were 91 and 68%, respectively. Alveolar condensation combined with a PCT level of 0.8 μg/l or more was strongly associated with bacterial co-infection (OR 12.9, 95% CI 3.2–51.5; P < 0.001).

Conclusions

PCT may help discriminate viral from mixed pneumonia during the influenza season. Levels of PCT less than 0.8 μg/l combined with clinical judgment suggest that bacterial infection is unlikely.

Keywords

References

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