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J Korean Med Sci. 2017 Jan;32(1):77-84. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2017.32.1.77.

Is β-Lactam Plus Macrolide More Effective than β-Lactam Plus Fluoroquinolone among Patients with Severe Community-Acquired Pneumonia?: a Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju, Korea.
Institute for Evidence-based Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Korea.


Adding either macrolide or fluoroquinolone (FQ) to β-lactam has been recommended for patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). However, due to the limited evidence available, there is a question as to the superiority of the two combination therapies. The MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched for systematic review and meta-analysis. A total of eight trials were analyzed. The total number of patients in the β-lactam plus macrolide (BL-M) and β-lactam plus fluoroquinolone (BL-F) groups was 2,273 and 1,600, respectively. Overall mortality of the BL-M group was lower than that of the BL-F group (19.4% vs. 26.8%), which showed statistical significance (odds ratio [OR], 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49 to 0.94; P = 0.02). Length of hospital stay was reduced in the BL-M group compared to the BL-F group (mean difference, -3.05 days; 95% CI, -6.01 to -0.09; P = 0.04). However, there was no significant difference in length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay between the two groups. Among patients with severe CAP, BL-M therapy may better reduce overall mortality and length of hospital stay than BL-F therapy. However, we could not elicit strong conclusions from the available trials due to high risk of bias and methodological limitations.


Fluoroquinolone; Intensive Care Units; Macrolides; Mortality; Pneumonia

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