Update on management options in the treatment of nosocomial and ventilator assisted pneumonia: review of actual guidelines and economic aspects of therapy

Michael Wilke, Rolf Grube
Infection and Drug Resistance 2013 December 18, 7: 1-7

OBJECTIVE: Nosocomial or more exactly, hospital-acquired (HAP) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) are frequent conditions when treating intensive care unit (ICU) patients that are only exceeded by central line-associated bloodstream infections. In Germany, approximately 18,900 patients per year suffer from a VAP and another 4,200 from HAP. We therefore reviewed the current guidelines about HAP and VAP, from different sources, regarding the strategies to address individual patient risks and medication strategies for initial intravenous antibiotic treatment (IIAT).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted an analysis of the recent guidelines for the treatment of HAP. The current guidelines of the American Thoracic Society, the treatment recommendations of the Paul-Ehrlich-Gesellschaft (PEG), the guidelines from the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the VAP guideline of the Canadian Critical Care trials group, as well as the new German S3-guideline for HAP were examined.

RESULTS: All guidelines are based on grading systems that assess the evidence underlying the recommendations. However, each guideline uses different grading systems. One common aspect of these guidelines is the risk assessment of the patients for decision making regarding IIAT. Most guidelines have different recommendations depending on the risk of the presence of multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria. In guidelines using risk assessment, for low-risk patients (early onset, no MDR risk) aminopenicillins with beta-lactamase inhibitors (BLI), second or third generation cephalosporins, quinolones, or ertapenem are recommended. For patients with higher risk, imipenem, meropenem, fourth generation cephalosporins, ceftazidime or piperacillin/tazobactam are recommended. The PEG recommendations include a combination therapy in cases of very high risk (late onset, MDR risk, ICU, and organ failure) of either piperacillin/tazobactam, dori-, imi- or meropenem or cefepime or ceftazidime with ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, fosfomycin or an aminoglycoside. For the treatment of HAP caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), either linezolid or vancomycin is recommended. With regard to the ZEPHyR-trial, linezolid has shown higher cure rates but, no difference in overall survival. Economic analyses show the relevance of guideline-adherent IIAT (GA-IIAT). Besides significantly better clinical outcomes, patients with GA-IIAT cause significantly lower costs (€28,033 versus (vs) €36,139) (P=0.006) and have a shorter length of stay in hospital (23.9 vs 28.3 days) (P=0.022).

CONCLUSION: We conclude that most current treatment guidelines take into account the individual patient risk and that the correct choice of IIAT affects clinical as well as economical outcomes.

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