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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Head‐to‐head trials of antibiotics for bronchiectasis

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2018
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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 (74th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

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Head‐to‐head trials of antibiotics for bronchiectasis
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd012590.pub2
Pubmed ID

Axel Kaehne, Stephen J Milan, Lambert M Felix, Emer Sheridan, Paul A Marsden, Sally Spencer


The diagnosis of bronchiectasis is defined by abnormal dilation of the airways related to a pathological mechanism of progressive airway destruction that is due to a 'vicious cycle' of recurrent bacterial infection, inflammatory mediator release, airway damage, and subsequent further infection. Antibiotics are the main treatment option for reducing bacterial burden in people with exacerbations of bronchiectasis and for longer-term eradication, but their use is tempered against potential adverse effects and concerns regarding antibiotic resistance. The comparative effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of different antibiotics have been highlighted as important issues, but currently little evidence is available to help resolve uncertainty on these questions. To evaluate the comparative effects of different antibiotics in the treatment of adults and children with bronchiectasis. We identified randomised controlled trials (RCTs) through searches of the Cochrane Airways Group Register of trials and online trials registries, run 30 April 2018. We augmented these with searches of the reference lists of published studies. We included RCTs reported as full-text articles, those published as abstracts only, and unpublished data. We included adults and children (younger than 18 years) with a diagnosis of bronchiectasis by bronchography or high-resolution computed tomography who reported daily signs and symptoms, such as cough, sputum production, or haemoptysis, and those with recurrent episodes of chest infection; we included studies that compared one antibiotic versus another when they were administered by the same delivery method. Two review authors independently assessed trial selection, data extraction, and risk of bias. We assessed overall quality of the evidence using GRADE criteria. We made efforts to collect missing data from trial authors. We have presented results with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as mean differences (MDs) or odds ratios (ORs). Four randomised trials were eligible for inclusion in this systematic review - two studies with 83 adults comparing fluoroquinolones with β-lactams and two studies with 55 adults comparing aminoglycosides with polymyxins.None of the included studies reported information on exacerbations - one of our primary outcomes. Included studies reported no serious adverse events - another of our primary outcomes - and no deaths. We graded this evidence as low or very low quality. Included studies did not report quality of life. Comparison between fluoroquinolones and β-lactams (amoxicillin) showed fewer treatment failures in the fluoroquinolone group than in the amoxicillin group (OR 0.07, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.32; low-quality evidence) after 7 to 10 days of therapy. Researchers reported that Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection was eradicated in more participants treated with fluoroquinolones (Peto OR 20.09, 95% CI 2.83 to 142.59; low-quality evidence) but provided no evidence of differences in the numbers of participants showing improvement in sputum purulence (OR 2.35, 95% CI 0.96 to 5.72; very low-quality evidence). Study authors presented no evidence of benefit in relation to forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV₁). The two studies that compared polymyxins versus aminoglycosides described no clear differences between groups in the proportion of participants with P aeruginosa eradication (OR 1.40. 95% CI 0.36 to 5.35; very low-quality evidence) or improvement in sputum purulence (OR 0.16, 95% CI 0.01 to 3.85; very low-quality evidence). The evidence for changes in FEV₁ was inconclusive. Two of three trials reported adverse events but did not report the proportion of participants experiencing one or more adverse events, so we were unable to interpret the information. Limited low-quality evidence favours short-term oral fluoroquinolones over beta-lactam antibiotics for patients hospitalised with exacerbations. Very low-quality evidence suggests no benefit from inhaled aminoglycosides verus polymyxins. RCTs have presented no evidence comparing other modes of delivery for each of these comparisons, and no RCTs have included children. Overall, current evidence from a limited number of head-to-head trials in adults or children with bronchiectasis is insufficient to guide the selection of antibiotics for short-term or long-term therapy. More research on this topic is needed.

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X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 187 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 187 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 26 14%
Student > Bachelor 24 13%
Other 15 8%
Researcher 15 8%
Student > Ph. D. Student 15 8%
Other 29 16%
Unknown 63 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 54 29%
Nursing and Health Professions 16 9%
Psychology 7 4%
Immunology and Microbiology 6 3%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 6 3%
Other 25 13%
Unknown 73 39%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 8. 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 31 May 2019.
All research outputs
of 25,372,398 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,220 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 321,988 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 208 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,372,398 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 81st percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,220 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 37.9. This one is in the 42nd percentile – i.e., 42% 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 321,988 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 74% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 208 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 38th percentile – i.e., 38% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.