Combination antibiotic therapy improves survival in patients with community-acquired pneumonia and shock

Alejandro Rodríguez, Angel Mendia, Josep-María Sirvent, Fernando Barcenilla, María Victoria de la Torre-Prados, Jordi Solé-Violán, Jordi Rello et al.
Critical Care Medicine 2007, 35 (6): 1493-8

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether combination antibiotic therapy improves outcome of severe community-acquired pneumonia in the subset of patients with shock.

DESIGN: Secondary analysis of a prospective observational, cohort study.

SETTING: Thirty-three intensive care units (ICUs) in Spain.

PATIENTS: Patients were 529 adults with community-acquired pneumonia requiring ICU admission.


MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULTS: Two hundred and seventy (51%) patients required vasoactive drugs and were categorized as having shock. The effects of combination antibiotic therapy and monotherapy on survival were compared using univariate analysis and a Cox regression model. The adjusted 28-day in-ICU mortality was similar (p = .99) for combination antibiotic therapy and monotherapy in the absence of shock. However, in patients with shock, combination antibiotic therapy was associated with significantly higher adjusted 28-day in-ICU survival (hazard ratio, 1.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-2.60; p = .01) in a Cox hazard regression model. Even when monotherapy was appropriate, it achieved a lower 28-day in-ICU survival than an adequate antibiotic combination (hazard ratio, 1.64; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-2.64).

CONCLUSIONS: Combination antibiotic therapy does not seem to increase ICU survival in all patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia. However, in the subset of patients with shock, combination antibiotic therapy improves survival rates.

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