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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2013 Mar;19(3):257-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2012.03783.x. Epub 2012 Mar 8.

Impact of guideline-concordant antibiotics and macrolide/β-lactam combinations in 3203 patients hospitalized with pneumonia: prospective cohort study.

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The Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Canada.


For patients hospitalized with pneumonia, guidelines provide empirical antibiotic recommendations and some studies suggest that macrolide/β-lactam combinations are preferable. We hypothesized that guideline-concordant regimens, particularly macrolide/β-lactams, would reduce mortality and ICU admissions. All patients hospitalized with pneumonia in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, were managed according to a clinical pathway and enrolled in a population-based registry. Clinical data, Pneumonia Severity Index and treatments were collected. Guideline-concordant regimens were macrolides/β-lactams or respiratory fluoroquinolone monotherapy. The main outcome was in-hospital mortality. The study included 3203 patients and most had severe pneumonia (63% PSI Class IV-V). Three hundred and twenty-one (10.0%) patients died, 306 (9.6%) were admitted to the ICU and 570 (17.8%) achieved the composite of death or ICU admission. Most (n = 2506) patients received guideline-concordant antibiotics. Receipt of guideline-concordant antibiotics was not associated with a reduction in mortality alone (231 (9.2%) vs. 90 (12.9%); adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 0.82; 95% CI, 0.61-1.09; p 0.16), but was associated with decreased death or ICU admission (14.7% vs. 29.0%; aOR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.36-0.54; p < 0.0001). Within guideline-concordant subgroups, there was no difference in mortality between macrolide/β-lactams and respiratory fluoroquinolone monotherapy (22 (8.3%) vs. 209 (9.3%); aOR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.66-1.81; p 0.73) but macrolide/β-lactams were associated with increased odds of death or ICU admission (17.4% vs. 14.4%; aOR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.09-2.27; p 0.01). In conclusion, guideline-concordant antibiotics were not associated with decreased mortality for patients hospitalized with pneumonia, but were associated with a decrease in the composite endpoint of death or ICU admission. Our findings do not support any clinical advantage of macrolide/β-lactam compared with respiratory fluoroquinolone monotherapy.

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