Recommendation ID

Use of biomarkers to diagnose and initiate treatment:- What is the clinical and cost effectiveness of procalcitonin (PCT) point-of-care tests at initial triage for diagnosis of serious infection and the initiation of appropriate antibiotic therapy?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why this is important:- There is an urgent clinical need for accurate biomarkers of serious bacterial infection (SBI) which provide early diagnosis of SBI, and prompt clinical interventions to improve outcomes. The current tests used in the NHS (white cell count and C-reactive protein) are non-specific and not sensitive enough. Biomarker-guided initiation and termination of antibiotic therapy might be an effective strategy to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use and help prevent further multidrug resistance. The NICE diagnostic guidance on procalcitonin for diagnosing and monitoring sepsis has shown there is not enough evidence in this area.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Suspected sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management
Date issued
July 2016

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/07/2016