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C-reactive protein guided antibiotic prescribing for COPD exacerbations

Butler, Christopher C, Gillespie, David, White, Patrick, Bates, Janine, Lowe, Rachel, Thomas-Jones, Emma, Wootton, Mandy, Hood, Kerenza, Phillips, Rhiannon, Melbye, Hasse, Llor, Carl, Cals, Jochen WL, Naik, Gurudutt, Kirby, Nigel, Ga, Micaela, Riga, Evgenia and Francis, Nick A 2019. C-reactive protein guided antibiotic prescribing for COPD exacerbations. New England Journal of Medicine 381 , pp. 111-120. 10.1056/NEJMoa1803185
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Point-of-care testing of C-reactive protein (CRP) may be a way to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics without harming patients who have acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). METHODS: We performed a multicenter, open-label, randomized, controlled trial involving patients with a diagnosis of COPD in their primary care clinical record who consulted a clinician at 1 of 86 general medical practices in England and Wales for an acute exacerbation of COPD. The patients were assigned to receive usual care guided by CRP point-of-care testing (CRP-guided group) or usual care alone (usual-care group). The primary outcomes were patient-reported use of antibiotics for acute exacerbations of COPD within 4 weeks after randomization (to show superiority) and COPD-related health status at 2 weeks after randomization, as measured by the Clinical COPD Questionnaire, a 10-item scale with scores ranging from 0 (very good COPD health status) to 6 (extremely poor COPD health status) (to show noninferiority). RESULTS: A total of 653 patients underwent randomization. Fewer patients in the CRP-guided group reported antibiotic use than in the usual-care group (57.0% vs. 77.4%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.20 to 0.47). The adjusted mean difference in the total score on the Clinical COPD Questionnaire at 2 weeks was −0.19 points (two-sided 90% CI, −0.33 to −0.05) in favor of the CRP-guided group. The antibiotic prescribing decisions made by clinicians at the initial consultation were ascertained for all but 1 patient, and antibiotic prescriptions issued over the first 4 weeks of follow-up were ascertained for 96.9% of the patients. A lower percentage of patients in the CRP-guided group than in the usual-care group received an antibiotic prescription at the initial consultation (47.7% vs. 69.7%, for a difference of 22.0 percentage points; adjusted odds ratio, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.45) and during the first 4 weeks of follow-up (59.1% vs. 79.7%, for a difference of 20.6 percentage points; adjusted odds ratio, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.46). Two patients in the usual-care group died within 4 weeks after randomization from causes considered by the investigators to be unrelated to trial participation. CONCLUSIONS: CRP-guided prescribing of antibiotics for exacerbations of COPD in primary care clinics resulted in a lower percentage of patients who reported antibiotic use and who received antibiotic prescriptions from clinicians, with no evidence of harm.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Publisher: Massachusetts Medical Society
ISSN: 0028-4793
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 September 2019
Date of Acceptance: 30 April 2019
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2019 05:55
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/123358

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