Comparison of a short versus long-course antibiotic therapy for ventilator-associated pneumonia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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EClinicalMedicine. 2023 Mar 1;58:101880. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2023.101880. eCollection 2023 Apr.


BACKGROUND: For ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), the safety of short-course versus long-course antibiotic therapy is still debated, especially regarding documented VAP due to non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli (NF-GNB). The aim of this meta-analysis was to assess the rates of recurrence and relapse of VAP in patients receiving short-course (≤8 days) and long-course (≥10-15 days) of antibiotic therapy.

METHODS: The protocol for this study was registered in the PROSPERO database (ID: CRD42022365138). We performed an electronic search of the relevant literature and limited our search to data published from 2000 until September 1, 2022. We searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the United States National Library of Medicine, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Embase, National Institutes of Health PubMed/MEDLINE, web of science and Google Scholar databases. The primary endpoint was the recurrence and relapses of VAP, secondary endpoints were 28-day mortality, mechanical ventilation duration, number of extra-pulmonary infections and length of ICU stay.

FINDINGS: We identified five relevant studies involving 1069 patients (530 patients in the short-course group and 539 patients in the long-course group). The meta-analysis did not reveal any significant difference between short and long-course antibiotic therapy for recurrence and relapses of VAP (odd ratio "OR" = 1.48, 95% confidence intervals (CI) [0.96, 2.28], p = 0.08 and OR = 1.45, 95% CI [0.94, 2.22], p = 0.09, respectively), including those due to NF-GNB (OR = 1.90, 95% CI [0.93, 3.33], p = 0.05 and OR = 1.76, 95% CI [0.93, 3.33], p = 0.08, respectively). No difference was found for 28 days-mortality (OR = 1.24, 95% CI [0.92, 1.67], p = 0.16), mechanical ventilation duration, number of extra-pulmonary infections and length of ICU stay. However, short-course therapy significantly increased the number of antibiotic-free days.

INTERPRETATION: Our meta-analysis showed that short-course antibiotic therapy did not result in increased number of recurence and relapses of VAP, suggesting that short-course should be preferred to reduce the exposure to antibiotics.


PMID:36911269 | PMC:PMC9995933 | DOI:10.1016/j.eclinm.2023.101880

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