Navigation Links
Measuring hormone cuts antibiotic use in half in pneumonia patients

Measuring a hormone in the blood can help doctors greatly reduce the number of days pneumonia patients have to take antibiotics to cure their infection, according to a study to be presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 24.

In the study, pneumonia patients whose level of the hormone procalcitonin was measured during the course of their illness took antibiotics an average of 6 days, compared with 12 days for patients whose procalcitonin levels were not measured. Fifteen percent of patients whose hormone levels were measured did not have to take antibiotics at all, said study co-author Michael Tamm, M.D., Chief of Pulmonary Medicine and Pulmonary Cell Research at University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland.

"Because of concerns about antibiotic resistance, as well as the cost of antibiotics, it's always better to give fewer antibiotics," Prof. Tamm said.

Many cases of community-acquired pneumonia are caused by bacteria, which require treatment with antibiotics, but some cases are viral, which get better without antibiotics. But doctors don't like to delay treatment in order to wait for lab results to tell them whether a patient's pneumonia is bacterial or viral, so they start all patients on antibiotics, Dr. Tamm said. "Once the treatment is started, it is usually continued for 10 to 14 days, because nobody knows when you can stop without a risk for the patient," he said.

Because levels of procalcitonin have been found to be elevated in patients with bacterial infection but not viral infection or other inflammatory diseases, Dr. Tamm and colleagues decided to study whether measuring levels of the hormone could eliminate or reduce antibiotic use in patients with bacterial pneumonia. Results of the blood test that measures procalcitonin levels can be obtained in only one hour, he said.

They studied more than 300 patients with community-acquired pneumonia (pneumonia that is not caught while a patient is in the hospital), and randomly divided them into two groups. Once group was given the standard antibiotic treatment, while the other was first tested for procalcitonin levels. Fifteen percent of those patients had very low procalcitonin levels, and were presumed to have viral pneumonia; they were not given antibiotics. The remaining 85% had high levels and were started on antibiotics. The researchers measured their procalcitonin levels four, six and eight days later, and discontinued their antibiotics if their levels were low.

Patients in the procalcitonin group who started on antibiotic treatment were able to stop after an average of six days. Their course of illness was similar to those patients who received a full course of antibiotics, in terms of their recovery and number of days spent in the hospital. "We showed we were able to cut the number of days patients were on antibiotics in half, without compromising their outcome," Dr. Tamm said.


Source:American Thoracic Society

Related biology news :

1. Measuring the impact of post-genomics on Mediterranean populations
2. Measuring Enzymes At End Of Cancer Pathway Predicts Outcome Of Tarceva, Taxol
3. Measuring hidden parasites in falciparum malaria
4. Measuring artery repair cells could become new heart disease test
5. Female sex hormones play a vital role in defense against sexually transmitted diseases
6. Deficiency of growth hormone and IGF-1 reduces cancer and kidney disease, but creates other problems
7. Alcohol consumption disrupts breastfeeding hormones
8. VCU study shows hormone-like molecule kills cells that cause inflammation in allergic disease
9. University of Nevada, Reno research team discovers hormone that causes malaria mosquito to urinate
10. Penguin chicks exposed to human visitors experience spike in stress hormone
11. Suppressing growth hormone in early adulthood may prevent cancer
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure BioSciences, ... in the development and sale of broadly enabling, pressure ... life sciences industry, today announced it has received gross ... $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the total ...  One or more additional closings are expected in the ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015   Growing need for low-cost, easy ... been paving the way for use of biochemical ... analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense ... in medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing ... continuous emphasis on improving product quality and growing ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 09, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") ... for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, ... and presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... said Andrew Rae , President & CEO ... not only value enriching for this clinical program, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Tampa, Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... its biggest event of the year and one of the premier annual events ... USA, and ran from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered in ... company has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 of ... for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific office ... Kingdom and Mexico , with the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and ... to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their ... votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: