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Crit Care. 2016 Jul 11;20(1):221. doi: 10.1186/s13054-016-1392-4.

Multidrug resistance, inappropriate empiric therapy, and hospital mortality in Acinetobacter baumannii pneumonia and sepsis.

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EviMed Research Group, LLC, PO Box 303, Goshen, MA, 01032, USA.
OptiStatim, LLC, Longmeadow, MA, USA.
The Medicines Company, Parsippany, NJ, USA.
Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving Street NW, Washington, DC, 20010, USA.



The relationship between multidrug resistance (MDR), inappropriate empiric therapy (IET), and mortality among patients with Acinetobacter baumannii (AB) remains unclear. We examined it using a large U.S.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the Premier Research database (2009-2013) of 175 U.S. hospitals. We included all adult patients admitted with pneumonia or sepsis as their principal diagnosis, or as a secondary diagnosis in the setting of respiratory failure, along with antibiotic administration within 2 days of admission. Only culture-confirmed infections were included. Resistance to at least three classes of antibiotics defined multidrug-resistant AB (MDR-AB). We used logistic regression to compute the adjusted relative risk ratio (RRR) of patients with MDR-AB receiving IET and IET's impact on mortality.


Among 1423 patients with AB infection, 1171 (82.3 %) had MDR-AB. Those with MDR-AB were older (63.7 ± 15.4 vs. 61.0 ± 16.9 years, p = 0.014). Although chronic disease burden did not differ between groups, the MDR-AB group had higher illness severity than those in the non-MDR-AB group (intensive care unit 68.0 % vs. 59.5 %, p < 0.001; mechanical ventilation 56.2 % vs. 42.1 %, p < 0.001). Patients with MDR-AB were more likely to receive IET than those in the non-MDR-AB group (76.2 % MDR-AB vs. 13.8 % non-MDR-AB, p < 0.001). In a regression model, MDR-AB strongly predicted receipt of IET (adjusted RRR 5.5, 95 % CI 4.0-7.7, p < 0.001). IET exposure was associated with higher hospital mortality (adjusted RRR 1.8, 95 % CI 1.4-2.3, p < 0.001).


In this large U.S. database, the prevalence of MDR-AB among patients with AB infection was > 80 %. Harboring MDR-AB increased the risk of receiving IET more than fivefold, and IET nearly doubled hospital mortality.


Acinetobacter baumannii; Inappropriate empiric therapy; Multidrug resistance; Outcomes; Pneumonia; Sepsis

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