Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Jan 1;165(1):41-6.

Role of serial routine microbiologic culture results in the initial management of ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Author information

Service de Réanimation Médicale, and Service de Microbiologie, Hôpital Bichat-Cl-Bernard, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France.


Results of routine microbiologic cultures of specimens obtained before the onset of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in intensive care unit (ICU) patients might help to identify the causative microorganisms and thus to select effective initial antimicrobial therapy. To test this hypothesis, we prospectively studied 125 consecutive VAP episodes for which the causative microorganisms were determined using bronchoscopic techniques. Upon entry into the study, each patient's hospital chart was reviewed and culture results of all previously obtained microbiologic specimens were recorded (mean number +/- SD per patient, 45 +/- 38). A total of 220 microorganisms were cultured at significant concentrations (> or = 10(3)/10(4) colony-forming units [cfu]/ml) from bronchoscopic specimens and considered responsible for pneumonia. Of these 220 organisms, only 73 (33%) were recovered before VAP onset, sometimes from multiple sites in the same patient but mainly from prior respiratory secretion cultures (n = 53). Also previously isolated were 342 organisms that were not responsible for VAP, making prospective identifications of the true pathogens difficult. Among the 102 episodes for which prior respiratory secretion culture results had been obtained (mean time before VAP onset, 8 +/- 9 d), all the organisms ultimately responsible for pneumonia were previously recovered from only 36 (35%) of these specimens. Based on these data, the contribution of routine microbiologic specimens in guiding initial antimicrobial therapy decisions for patients with suspected VAP appears limited.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center