3 years ago

A gastrointestinal PCR panel improves clinical management and lowers healthcare costs.

Stacy G Beal, Kenneth H Rand, Lymaries Velez, Steven Toffel, Elizabeth E Tremblay
Conventional methods for identification of gastrointestinal pathogens are time consuming, expensive, and have limited sensitivity. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical impact of a comprehensive molecular test, the BioFire FilmArray® Gastrointestinal (GI) Panel which tests for many of the most common agents of infectious diarrhea in approximately one hour. Patients with stool cultures submitted were tested on the GI Panel (n=241) and were compared with control patients (n=594) from the year prior. The most common organisms detected by the GI Panel were Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC, n=21), norovirus (n=21), rotavirus (n=15), sapovirus (n=9) and Salmonella (n=8). Patients tested on the GI Panel had an average of 0.58 other infectious stool tests compared with 3.02 in the control group (p=0.0001). Antibiotic days per patient were 1.73 in the cases and 2.12 in the controls (p=0.06). Patients with the GI Panel had 0.18 abdomen and/or pelvic imaging studies per patient compared with 0.39 (p=0.0002) in the controls. The average length of time from the stool culture collection to discharge was 3.4 days in the GI Panel group vs. 3.9 days in the controls (p=0.04). The overall health care cost could have decreased by $293.61 per patient tested. The GI Panel improved patient care by rapidly identifying a broad range of pathogens which may not have otherwise been detected, reducing the need for other diagnostic tests, reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics, and leading to a reduction in hospital length of stay.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01457-17

DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01457-17

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