Point-of-care procalcitonin testing
Topic Status Complete
Health Technology Wales researchers searched for evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of point-of-care procalcitonin testing in the assessment and treatment of sepsis in children. Health Technology Wales’ Assessment Group concluded to progress this topic to Evidence Appraisal.
Outcome of the appraisal
The Health Technology Wales Assessment Group concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence about the outcomes of procalcitonin point-of-care testing (POCT) to inform production of guidance.
Why was this topic appraised?
Sepsis is a potentially life threatening condition, but is often difficult to diagnose (particularly in children). This can lead to over-prescription of antibiotics, which contributes to the global problem of antimicrobial resistance. Procalcitonin POCT can be used in emergency settings to rapidly assess infections (distinguishing between bacterial and viral) in adults and children with suspected sepsis. Facilitating early prescribing decisions could potentially reduce risks associated with delayed diagnosis, and reduce the likelihood of overtreatment.