C-reactive protein and procalcitonin profile in ventilator-associated lower respiratory infections

Luis Coelho, Ligia Rabello, Jorge Salluh, Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Alejandro Rodriguez, Saad Nseir, José Andrade Gomes, Pedro Povoa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-389
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of critical care
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Biomarkers
  • C-reactive protein
  • Intensive care unit
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Procalcitonin
  • Tracheobronchitis
  • Ventilator-associated


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