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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Antibiotics for ventilator‐associated pneumonia

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (72nd percentile)
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5 X users
1 Facebook page
4 Wikipedia pages


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359 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
Antibiotics for ventilator‐associated pneumonia
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd004267.pub4
Pubmed ID

Lauren E Arthur, Russell S Kizor, Adrian G Selim, Mieke L van Driel, Leonardo Seoane


Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, complicating the medical course of approximately 10% of mechanically-ventilated patients, with an estimated attributable mortality of 13%. To treat VAP empirically, the American Thoracic Society currently recommends antibiotic therapy based on the patients' risk of colonisation by an organism with multidrug resistance. The selection of initial antibiotic therapy in VAP is important, as inappropriate initial antimicrobial treatment is associated with higher mortality and longer hospital stay in intensive care unit (ICU) patients.While guidelines exist for the antibiotic treatment of hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) from the American Thoracic Society and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, there are many limitations in the quality of available evidence. This systematic review aimed to summarise the results of all randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compare empirical antibiotic regimens for VAP. The primary objective of this review was to assess the effect of different empirical antimicrobial therapies on the survival and clinical cure of adult patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Secondary objectives included reporting the incidence of adverse events, new superinfections, length of hospital stay, and length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay associated with these therapies. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embase, LILACS, CINAHL and Web of Science to December 2015; we searched ClinicalTrials.gov to September 2016. Two review authors independently assessed RCTs comparing empirical antibiotic treatments of VAP in adult patients, where VAP was defined as new-onset pneumonia that developed more than 48 hours after endotracheal intubation. Physicians and researchers were not required to be blinded for inclusion in this review. Two review authors independently extracted study data. We pooled studies and analysed them in two ways. We examined monotherapy, or a single experimental antimicrobial drug, versus combination therapy, or multiple experimental antimicrobial drugs. We also examined carbapenem therapy versus non-carbapenem therapy. We included 12 studies with 3571 participants. All included studies examined the empiric use of one antimicrobial regimen versus another for the treatment of adults with VAP, but the particular drug regimens examined by each study varied. There was potential for bias because some studies did not report outcomes for all participants. All but one study reported sources of funding or author affiliations with pharmaceutical companies.We found no statistical difference in all-cause mortality between monotherapy and combination therapy (N = 4; odds ratio (OR) monotherapy versus combination 0.97, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73 to 1.30), clinical cure (N = 2; OR monotherapy versus combination 0.88, 95% CI 0.56 to 1.36), length of stay in ICU (mean difference (MD) 0.65, 95% CI 0.07 to 1.23) or adverse events (N = 2; OR monotherapy versus combination 0.93, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.26). We downgraded the quality of evidence for all-cause mortality, adverse events, and length of ICU stay to moderate for this comparison. We determined clinical cure for this comparison to be of very low-quality evidence.For our second comparison of combination therapy with optional adjunctives only one meta-analysis could be performed due to a lack of trials comparing the same antibiotic regimens. Two studies compared tigecycline versus imipenem-cilastatin for clinical cure in the clinically evaluable population and there was a statistically significant increase in clinical cure for imipenem-cilastatin (N = 2; OR tigecycline versus imipenem-cilastatin 0.44, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.84). Of importance, this effect was due to a single study.We found no statistical difference in all-cause mortality between carbapenem and non-carbapenem therapies (N = 1; OR carbapenem versus non-carbapenem 0.59, 95% CI 0.30 to 1.19) or adverse events (N = 3; OR carbapenem versus non-carbapenem 0.78, 95% CI 0.56 to 1.09), but we found that carbapenems are associated with a statistically significant increase in the clinical cure (N = 3; OR carbapenem versus non-carbapenem 1.53, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.12 for intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis and N = 2; OR carbapenem versus non-carbapenem 2.29, 95% CI 1.19 to 4.43 for clinically evaluable patients analysis). For this comparison we downgraded the quality of evidence for mortality, and clinical cure (ITT and clinically evaluable populations) to moderate. We determined the quality of evidence for adverse events to be low. We did not find a difference between monotherapy and combination therapy for the treatment of people with VAP. Since studies did not identify patients with increased risk for multidrug-resistant bacteria, these data may not be generalisable to all patient groups. However, this is the largest meta-analysis comparing monotherapy to multiple antibiotic therapies for VAP and contributes further evidence to the safety of using effective monotherapy for the empiric treatment of VAP.Due to lack of studies, we could not evaluate the best antibiotic choice for VAP, but carbapenems as a class may result in better clinical cure than other tested antibiotics.

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X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 359 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Indonesia 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Unknown 357 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 46 13%
Researcher 33 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 32 9%
Student > Bachelor 32 9%
Student > Postgraduate 27 8%
Other 66 18%
Unknown 123 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 119 33%
Nursing and Health Professions 27 8%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 17 5%
Social Sciences 9 3%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 9 3%
Other 35 10%
Unknown 143 40%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 6. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 11 October 2023.
All research outputs
of 25,728,855 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 13,136 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 323,970 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 269 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,728,855 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 75th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,136 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.8. This one is in the 38th percentile – i.e., 38% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 323,970 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 72% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 269 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 40th percentile – i.e., 40% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.