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Eur Respir J. 2009 Nov;34(5):1072-8. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00003309. Epub 2009 Apr 22.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa in patients hospitalised for COPD exacerbation: a prospective study.

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Service of Internal Medicine, Hospital Mutua de Terrassa, Plaza Dr. Robert 5, 08221 Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain.


Risk factors for Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) isolation in patients hospitalised for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation remain controversial. The aim of our study was to determine the incidence and risk factors for PA isolation in sputum at hospital admission in a prospective cohort of patients with acute exacerbation of COPD. We prospectively studied all patients with COPD exacerbation admitted to our hospital between June 2003 and September 2004. Suspected predictors of PA isolation were studied. Spirometry tests and 6-min walking tests were performed 1 month after the patients were discharged. High-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) was performed in a randomised manner in one out of every two patients to quantify the presence and extent of bronchiectasis. Patients were followed up during the following year for hospital re-admissions. A total of 188 patients were included, of whom 31 (16.5%) had PA in sputum at initial admission. The BODE (body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnoea, exercise capacity) index (OR 2.18, CI 95% 1.26-3.78; p = 0.005), admissions in the previous year (OR 1.65, CI 95% 1.13-2.43; p = 0.005), systemic steroid treatment (OR 14.7, CI 95% 2.28-94.8; p = 0.01), and previous isolation of PA (OR 23.1, CI 95% 5.7-94.3; p<0.001) were associated with PA isolation. No relationship was seen between bronchiectasis in HRCT and antibiotic use in the previous 3 months. PA in sputum at hospital admission is more frequent in patients with poorer scoring on the BODE index, previous hospital admissions, oral corticosteroids and prior isolation of PA.

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