Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Intern Med. 1998 Mar 9;158(5):522-7.

Enterococcus faecium bacteremia: does vancomycin resistance make a difference?

Author information

Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill 60611, USA.



Enterococcus faecium has received increased attention, primarily due to the emergence of vancomycin resistance. The purpose of this investigation was to study the epidemiological characteristics of vancomycin-resistant E faecium (VRE) bacteremia and to determine the clinical impact of vancomycin resistance on the outcome of patients with this infection.


We retrospectively analyzed the clinical features and outcome of 53 patients with E faecium bacteremia.


From January 1992 until December 1995, there were 32 episodes of bacteremia caused by vancomycin-susceptible E faecium (VSE) and 21 caused by VRE. An intra-abdominal site was the most common source of bacteremia in both groups. All of the VRE and 78% of VSE bacteremia cases were nosocomially acquired. Previous administration of vancomycin was associated with VRE bacteremia (P<.001), as were indwelling bladder catheters (P=.01). Fifty-nine percent of the patients with VSE bacteremia survived vs 24% with VRE (P=.009), despite similar severity-of-illness scores. In 62% of the patients with VRE sepsis, death was related to the bacteremia (P=.01). Patients infected with VRE had longer hospitalizations than those with VSE (34.8 vs 16.7 days, respectively) (P=.004), were more likely to be on the medical service (P=.03), and on the average, had hospitalization costs of more than $27,000 per episode than did patients with VSE bloodstream infection ($83,897 vs $56,707, respectively) (P=.04).


Vancomycin-resistant E faecium bacteremia is a complication of prolonged hospitalization in debilitated patients. Vancomycin resistance has a negative impact on survival in patients with E faecium bacteremia and leads to higher health care costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center