Preventive ceftriaxone in patients at high risk of stroke-associated pneumonia. A post-hoc analysis of the PASS trial

Link to article at PubMed

PLoS One. 2022 Dec 30;17(12):e0279700. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0279700. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: Infections complicate the acute phase of stroke in one third of patients and especially pneumonia is associated with increased risk of death or dependency. In randomized trials of stroke patients, preventive antibiotics reduced overall infections, but did not reduce pneumonia or improve outcome. This may be explained by broad selection criteria, including many patients with a low risk of pneumonia. To assess the potential of selection of patients at high risk of pneumonia, we performed a post-hoc analysis in the Preventive Antibiotics in Stroke Study (PASS).

METHODS: PASS was a multicentre phase 3 trial in acute stroke patients who were randomized to preventive ceftriaxone for four days within 24 hours or standard care. For this analysis patients were divided based on the ISAN risk score for pneumonia as follows: low (0-6), medium (7-14) and high (15-21). Primary outcomes were pneumonia rate during admission as judged by the treating physician, and by an independent committee; secondary outcomes were overall infections and unfavorable outcome (modified Rankin Scale ≥3). We adjusted with multivariable regression for possible confounders: age, stroke subtype and severity, pre-stroke dependency and diabetes.

RESULTS: Pneumonia occurred more frequently in higher risk groups (25.7% (high), 9.0% (medium) 1.5%, (low)). The absolute difference in pneumonia rate between patients treated with ceftriaxone or standard care increased with the ISAN score (low: 0.5%, medium: 1.2%, high: 10.1%). After adjustment ceftriaxone reduced overall infections in the low and medium groups, not in the high-risk group. There was a trend towards reduction of pneumonia as judged by the committee (3.7% vs 13.6%, aOR = 0.164, p = 0.063) in the high-risk group.

CONCLUSIONS: This post-hoc analysis of PASS confirmed higher rates of pneumonia with higher ISAN scores, and suggests that in acute stroke patients with an ISAN score of ≥15, preventive ceftriaxone for four days may reduce pneumonia rate.

PMID:36584124 | PMC:PMC9803205 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0279700

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