The rapid diagnosis of infection and early initiation of appropriate antimicrobials is essential to optimizing an intensive care unit patient’s chances of survival. However, current culture-based pathogen identification is slow and unreliable. In contrast, polymerase chain reaction followed by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) does not depend on the growth of organisms in culture and may offer a distinct advantage over currently available methods. The Rapid Diagnosis of Infections in the Critically Ill (RADICAL) study is a multicenter observational study conducted by Vincent et al, with the aim of comparing results obtained using PCR/ESI-MS technology and standard culture.
The authors found that PCR/ESI-MS provides rapid pathogen identification in critically ill patients.
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