Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A retrospective observational study on the efficacy of colistin by inhalation as compared to parenteral administration for the treatment of nosocomial pneumonia associated with multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Reinout Naesens1*, Erika Vlieghe2, Walter Verbrugghe3, Philippe Jorens3 and Margareta Ieven1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Medical Microbiology, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium

2 Department of Tropical Diseases, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium

3 Intensive care unit, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:317  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-317

Published: 15 November 2011

Abstract

Background

Colistin is used as last treatment option for pneumonia associated with multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas spp.. Literature about the best administration mode (inhalation versus parenteral treatment) is lacking.

Methods

A retrospective study of 20 intensive care patients with a pneumonia associated with MDR P. aeruginosa receiving colistin sulphomethate sodium (Colistineb®) between 2007 and 2009 was performed. A strain was considered multidrug-resistant if it was resistant to at least 6 of the following antibiotics: piperacillin-tazobactam, ceftazidime, cefepime, meropenem, aztreonam, ciprofloxacin, and amikacin. The administration mode, predicted mortality based on the SAPS3 score, SOFA score at onset of the colistin treatment, clinical and microbiological response, and mortality during the episode of the infection were analysed. The non parametric Kruskal-Wallis and Fisher's Exact test were used for statistical analysis of respectively the predicted mortality/SOFA score and mortality rate.

Results

Six patients received colistin by inhalation only, 5 were treated only parenterally, and 9 by a combination of both administration modes. All patients received concomitant beta-lactam therapy. The mean predicted mortalities were respectively 72%, 68%, and 69% (p = 0.91). SOFA scores at the onset of the treatment were also comparable (p = 0.87). Clinical response was favorable in all patients receiving colistin by inhalation (6/6) and in 40% (2/5) of the patients receiving colistin parenterally (p = 0.06). In the patients with colistin administered both via inhalation and parenterally, clinical response was favorable in 78% of the patients (7/9) (p = 0.27 as compared to the treatment group receiving colistin only parenterally). When all patients with inhalation therapy were compared to the group without inhalation therapy, a favorable clinical response was present in respectively 87% and 40% (p = 0.06). In none of the patients, the Pseudomonas spp. was eradicated from the follow-up cultures.

All patients in the parenterally treated group died. None of the patients receiving colistin by inhalation, and 3 of 9 patients of the combination group eventually died (p = 0.002 and p = 0.03 respectively as compared to the group receiving colistin only parenterally).

Conclusions

Aerosolized colistin could be beneficial as adjunctive treatment for the management of pneumonia due to MDR P. aeruginosa.