Blood test helps decide antibiotics for COPD exacerbation

Fewer antibiotics used and no deleterious effect on patients, say researchers

Testing for C-reactive protein can reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in patients experiencing an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease without causing patient harm, a UK study shows.

tibes of blood awaiing analysis

In the study, known as PACE, 653 patients attending 86 UK GP practices for an acute exacerbation of COPD were randomly assigned to either usual care, or a decision on whether or not to prescribe antibiotics on the basis of a C-reactive protein (CRP) test.

Patient-reported use of antibiotics in the CRP arm was