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, its always better to give fewer antibiotics," Prof. Tamm said.
Jim Augustine | EurekAlert!
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