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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Dec;60(6):1216-26. Epub 2007 Oct 13.

Administration of antimicrobials via the respiratory tract for the treatment of patients with nosocomial pneumonia: a meta-analysis.

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Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Athens, Greece.



Aerosolized antibiotics are a widely recognized treatment for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). We sought to clarify their role in the treatment of non-CF patients with nosocomial pneumonia by performing a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared administration of antimicrobials via the respiratory tract (with or without concurrent usage of systemic antibiotics) with control treatment.


An extensive search of PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Current Contents and bibliographies from retrieved publications was made.


Five RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. Administration of antimicrobials via respiratory tract (either inhaled or endotracheally instilled) as opposed to control was associated with better treatment success in intention-to-treat [fixed effect model: odds ratio (OR) = 2.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.29-4.44; random effects model: OR = 2.75, 95% CI 1.06-7.17] and in clinically evaluable patients (fixed effect model: OR = 3.14, 95% CI 1.48-6.70; random effects model: OR = 3.07, 95% CI 1.15-8.19). There were no statistically significant differences between therapeutic regimens regarding all-cause mortality (fixed effect model: OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.43-1.64; random effects model: OR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.27-1.88), microbiological success (fixed effect model: OR = 2.06, 95% CI 0.91-4.68; random effects model: OR = 2.23, 95% CI 0.64-7.71) and toxicity (fixed effect model: OR = 0.34, 95% CI 0.04-2.53; random effects model: OR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.04-3.16).


The limited available evidence seems not to preclude a benefit from the administration of antimicrobial agents via the respiratory tract for treating nosocomial pneumonia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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