Back to Journals » International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease » Volume 10 » Issue 1

Procalcitonin and C-reactive protein cannot differentiate bacterial or viral infection in COPD exacerbation requiring emergency department visits

Authors Chang C, Tsao K, Hu H, Huang C, Kao K, Chen N, Yang C, Tsai Y, Hsieh M

Received 31 October 2014

Accepted for publication 10 January 2015

Published 13 April 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 767—774


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Chih-Hao Chang,1 Kuo-Chien Tsao,2,3 Han-Chung Hu,1,4 Chung-Chi Huang,1,4 Kuo-Chin Kao,1,4 Ning-Hung Chen,1,4 Cheng-Ta Yang,1,4 Ying-Huang Tsai,4,5 Meng-Jer Hsieh4,5

1Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Linkou Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang-Gung Medical Foundation, Chang-Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Linkou Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang-Gung Medical Foundation; 3Department of Medical Biotechnology and Laboratory Science, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 4Department of Respiratory Therapy, Chang-Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 5Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chiayi Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang-Gung Medical Foundation, Puzi City, Taiwan

Background: Viral and bacterial infections are the most common causes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. Whether serum inflammatory markers can differentiate bacterial from virus infection in patients with COPD exacerbation requiring emergency department (ED) visits remains controversial.
Methods: Viral culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used to identify the viruses in the oropharynx of patients with COPD exacerbations. The bacteria were identified by the semiquantitative culture of the expectorated sputum. The peripheral blood white blood cell (WBC) counts, serum C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin (PCT), and clinical symptoms were compared among patients with different types of infections.
Results: Viruses were isolated from 16 (22.2%) of the 72 patients enrolled. The most commonly identified viruses were parainfluenza type 3, influenza A, and rhinovirus. A total of 30 (41.7%) patients had positive bacterial cultures, with the most commonly found bacteria being Haemophilus influenzae and Haemophilus parainfluenzae. Five patients (6.9%) had both positive sputum cultures and virus identification. The WBC, CRP, and PCT levels of the bacteria-positive and bacteria-negative groups were not statistically different. Multivariate analysis showed that patients with increased sputum volumes during the COPD exacerbations had higher risks of recurrent exacerbations in the 1-year period following the first exacerbation.
Conclusion: WBC, CRP, or PCT could not differentiate between bacterial and viral infections in patients with COPD exacerbation requiring ED visits. Those with increased sputum during a COPD exacerbation had higher risks for recurrent exacerbations.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bacterial infection, virus, CRP

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Readers of this article also read:

Emerging and future therapies for hemophilia

Carr ME, Tortella BJ

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:245-255

Published Date: 3 September 2015

Acquired hemophilia A: emerging treatment options

Janbain M, Leissinger CA, Kruse-Jarres R

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:143-150

Published Date: 8 May 2015

Second case report of successful electroconvulsive therapy for a patient with schizophrenia and severe hemophilia A

Saito N, Shioda K, Nisijima K, Kobayashi T, Kato S

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2014, 10:865-867

Published Date: 16 May 2014

Rituximab for managing acquired hemophilia A in a case of chronic neutrophilic leukemia with the JAK2 kinase V617F mutation

Imashuku S, Kudo N, Kubo K, Saigo K, Okuno N, Tohyama K

Journal of Blood Medicine 2012, 3:157-161

Published Date: 5 December 2012

A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone

Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5719-5724

Published Date: 12 November 2012

The use of PEGylated liposomes in the development of drug delivery applications for the treatment of hemophilia

Rivka Yatuv, Micah Robinson, Inbal Dayan-Tarshish, et al

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2010, 5:581-591

Published Date: 6 August 2010

Crystallization after intravitreal ganciclovir injection

Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:709-711

Published Date: 14 July 2010