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Clin Infect Dis. 1996 Sep;23(3):538-42.

Mortality due to ventilator-associated pneumonia or colonization with Pseudomonas or Acinetobacter species: assessment by quantitative culture of samples obtained by a protected specimen brush.

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Service de Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Bichat, Paris, France.


Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) due to multiresistant pathogens is associated with a high death rate. We analyzed the relationship between VAP due to Pseudomonas or Acinetobacter species and death by comparing the outcomes for patients colonized with these pathogens (bacterial counts of < 10(3) cfu/mL) with those for patients with pneumonia due to these pathogens (bacterial counts of > or = 10(3) cfu/mL). Samples were obtained systematically with a protected specimen brush when pneumonia was suspected. Clinical characteristics at admission to our intensive care unit and clinical features at the time of suspicion of VAP were not significantly different between colonized patients and those with VAP. Mortality rates were 29% among colonized patients and 73% among patients with VAP (P < .001). These results demonstrate a relationship between a high mortality rate and the development of pneumonia due to multiresistant, nonfermenting, gram-negative bacilli ( > or = 10(3) cfu/mL) in the lower airways of patients receiving ventilatory support.

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