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J Infect. 2008 Jun;56(6):432-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2008.04.002. Epub 2008 May 23.

Efficacy and safety of high-dose ampicillin/sulbactam vs. colistin as monotherapy for the treatment of multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii ventilator-associated pneumonia.

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3rd Department of Critical Care, Athens University, Evgenidion Hospital, Papadiamantopoulou 20, Athens, Greece.



To compare the safety and efficacy of ampicillin/sulbactam (Amp/Sulb) and colistin (COL) in the treatment of multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).


A prospective cohort study in adult critically ill patients with VAP. Patients were randomly assigned to receive Amp/Sulb (9 g every 8h) or COL (3 MIU every 8h) intravenously. Dosage was adjusted according to creatinine clearance.


A total of 28 patients were enrolled (15 COL, 13 Amp/Sulb). Resolution of symptoms and signs occurred in 60% (9/15) of the COL group and 61.5% (9/13) of the Amp/Sulb group, improvement in 13.3% (2/15) vs. 15.3% (1/13) and failure in 26.6% (4/15) vs. 23% (3/13), respectively. The difference was not statistically significant. Bacteriologic success was achieved in 66.6% (10/15) vs. 61.5% (8/13) in the COL and Amp/Sulb groups, respectively (p<0.2). Mortality rates (14 days and 28 days) were 15.3% and 30% for the Amp/Sulb and 20% and 33% for the COL group, respectively. Adverse events were 39.6% (including 33% nephrotoxicity) for the COL group and 30.7% (15.3% nephrotoxicity) for the Amp/Sulb group (p=NS).


Colistin and high-dose ampicillin/sulbactam were comparably safe and effective treatments for critically ill patients with MDR A. baumannii VAP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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