Purpose: Ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis (VAT) has been suggested as an intermediate process between tracheobronchial colonization and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in patients receiving mechanical ventilation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of C-reactive protein (CRP) and procalcitonin (PCT) to differentiate between VAT and VAP. Methods: Pre-planned analysis of the prospective multinational TAVeM database, performed on 2960 patients receiving mechanical ventilation for >48 h, including 689 patients with VA-LRTI. Patients with the diagnosis of VAT or VAP microbiologically documented and with one measurement of CRP and/or PCT on the day of diagnosis were included. Results: Four hundred and four patients (mean age 63 years, 298 men, ICU mortality 40%) were studied, 207 with VAT and 197 with VAP. On the day of infection diagnosis, the median CRP was elevated in both groups but significantly higher in VAP (18 mg/dL vs. 14 mg/dL, p =.001). Median PCT was also significantly higher in VAP (2.1 ng/dL vs. 0.64 ng/d L, p <.001). Both biomarkers could not help distinguish between VAT and VAP. Conclusion: Although PCT and CRP presented lower values in VAT as compared to VAP, there was a marked overlap of both biomarkers values in both VA-LRTI not allowing adequate discrimination.
- C-reactive protein
- Intensive care unit
- Lower respiratory tract infections