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Tuberc Respir Dis (Seoul). 2012 Apr;72(4):360-6. doi: 10.4046/trd.2012.72.4.360. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Four Year Trend of Carbapenem-Resistance in Newly Opened ICUs of a University-Affiliated Hospital of South Korea.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary and Allergy, Department of Internal Medicine, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Carbapenem-resistance is rapidly evolving among the pathogenic microbes in intensive care units (ICUs). This study aimed to determine annual trend of carbapenem-resistance in the ICU for 4 years, since the opening of a university-affiliated hospital in South Korea.


From 2005 to 2008, microbial samples from consecutive 6,772 patients were screened in the ICU. Three hundred and ninety-seven patients (5.9%) and their first isolates of carbapenem-resistant pathogens were analyzed.


The percentage of patients infected with carbapenem-resistant organisms increased constantly during the initial three years (2.3% in 2005, 6.2% in 2006, 7.8% in 2007), then it declined to 6.5% in 2008. Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III score at admission was 58.0±23.5, the median length of the ICU stay was 37 days, and the mortality rate was 37.5%. The sampling sites were endotracheal suction (67%), catheterized urine (17%), wound (6%) and others (10%). Bacteria with carbapenem-resistance were Pseudomonas aeruginosa (247 isolates, 62%), Acinetobacter baumannii (117 isolates, 30%), Enterobacteriaceae (12 isolates, 3%), and others (21, 5%). Of note, peak isolation of carbapenem-resistant microorganisms in medical ICU was followed by the same epidemic at surgical ICU.


Taken together, carbapenem-resistant pathogens are of growing concern in the ICU.


Carbapenems; Drug Resistance, Bacterial; Intensive Care Units

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