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Table 1 PCT algorithm recommended in internal meetings at the PCT introduction

From: Hospital physicians’ experiences with procalcitonin – implications for antimicrobial stewardship; a qualitative study

Intensive care unit (severe infections/sepsis)
 PCT < 0.5 μg/ Antibiotics should be considered withdrawn
 PCT ≥ 0.5 μg/L In patients who have improved clinically, subsequent PCT analyses are recommended on days 3 and 5.
A decrease of 80% of the initial value suggests that antibiotics are no longer needed.
Respiratory tract infections (community-acquired pneumonia and acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
 PCT < 0.1 μg/L: Strongly encourage against the continuation of antibiotics
 PCT < 0.25 μg/L: Encourage against the continuation of antibiotics
 PCT 0.25–0.5 μg/L: Recommendation for continuing antibiotics
 PCT > 0.5 μg/L: Strong recommendation for continuing antibiotics