Information for patients

What was the PACE study about?

PACE was a study to see if a quick and safe finger prick blood test, measuring C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, can help guide better antibiotic use in patients suffering from an acute exacerbation of their Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). People with COPD often experience attacks or periods when their illness gets worse (sometimes referred to as acute exacerbations).

Acute exacerbations can be triggered by many things, including infections, and are sometimes treated with antibiotics. But many patients with an exacerbation will not benefit from antibiotics, and taking antibiotics can sometimes result in side effects or cause the bugs that are normally present in our bodies to become resistant to antibiotics.

Results & recommendations

An infographic have been specially developed to present the PACE study findings and recommendations:


The findings of PACE have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2019:

Butler CC, Gillespie D, White P, Bates J, Lowe R, Thomas-Jones E, Wootton M, Hood K, Phillips R, Melbye H, Llor C, Cals Y, et al. C-Reactive Protein Testing to Guide Antibiotic Prescribing for COPD Exacerbations. N Engl J Med 2019; 381:111-120 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1803185