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Editor's Correspondence
July 13, 2009

How Efficient Is Procalcitonin-Guided Antibiotic Use in Acute Respiratory Tract Infections in Primary Care?

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(13):1241-1247. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.182

The antibiotic prescription for acute respiratory tract infection is still used with caution because there is no effective way to distinguish between viral and bacterial infection. Briel et al1 evaluated whether antibiotic therapy guided by procalcitonin reduces the use of antibiotics without increasing the restriction of activities experienced by patients compared with a standard therapy based on current guidelines. However, this primary end point—the restriction of activities as experienced by patients—is patient dependent and hard to replicate from one setting to another. It is not possible to capture its content and construct. Does it means work absence, no leisure time activity, lying in bed?