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Antibiotics for the treatment of lower respiratory tract infections in children with neurodisability: Systematic review.

Acta Paediatrica 2024 April 10
AIM: Determine the optimal antibiotic choice for lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) in children with neurodisability.

METHODS: Embase, Ovid Emcare and MEDLINE were searched for studies from inception to January 2023. All studies, except case reports, focusing on the antibiotic treatment of LRTI in children, with neurodisabilities were included. Outcomes included length of stay, intensive care admission and mortality.

RESULTS: Nine studies met the inclusion criteria (5115 patients). All the studies were of low quality. The shortest length of stay was with anaerobic and gram-positive cover. Five studies used anaerobic, gram-positive and gram-negative cover (e.g., amoxicillin-clavulanic acid), which was frequently adequate. In one large study, it was better than gram-positive and gram-negative cover alone (e.g. ceftriaxone). Those unresponsive or more unwell at presentation improved faster on Pseudomonas aeruginosa cover (e.g., piperacillin-tazobactam).

CONCLUSION: In this context, anaerobic, gram-positive and gram-negative cover is just as effective as P. aeruginosa cover, supporting empiric treatment with amoxicillin-clavulanic acid. If there is a failure to improve, broadening to include P. aeruginosa could be considered. This is consistent with a consensus statement on the treatment of LRTI in children with neurodisability. An accepted definition for what constitutes LRTI in this cohort is required before designing prospective randomised trials.

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