Intern Med. 2023 May 24. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.1115-22. Online ahead of print.
Objective Recommendations on the timing of Legionella urinary antigen tests for community-acquired pneumonia patients differ among guidelines in Japan, the United States, and European nations. We therefore evaluated the association between the timing of urinary antigen tests and in-hospital mortality in patients with Legionella pneumonia. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the Diagnosis Procedure Combination database, a nationwide database of acute care inpatients in Japan. Patients who underwent Legionella urinary antigen tests on the day of admission formed the tested group. Patients who were tested on day 2 of admission or later or were unexamined formed the control group. We performed a propensity score matching analysis to compare in-hospital mortality, length of hospital stay and duration of antibiotics use between the two groups. Results Of the 9,254 eligible patients, 6,933 were included in the tested group. One-to-one propensity score matching generated 1,945 pairs. The tested group had a significantly lower 30-day in-hospital mortality than the control group (5.7 vs. 7.7%; odds ratio, 0.72; 95% confidence intervals, 0.55-0.95; p=0.020). The tested group also showed a significantly shorter length of stay and duration of antibiotics use than the control group. Conclusions Urine antigen testing upon admission was associated with better outcomes in patients with Legionella pneumonia. Urine antigen tests upon admission may be recommended for all patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia.