A comparative, prospective study was made of the incidence of infection in the lower airway (purulent tracheobronchitis and pneumonia) in long-term patients who were mechanically ventilated due to respiratory failure of noninfectious origin. Twenty-eight patients were randomly allocated into a study group (A, n = 13) in which a nonabsorbable paste containing 2% tobramycin, 2% amphotericin B, and 2% polymyxin E was administered locally to decontaminate the oropharynx, and a control group (B, n = 15) in which a paste without antibiotics was also applied to the oropharynx. We studied the effectiveness of the prophylactic technique in decontaminating the oropharynx and trachea of organisms potentially pathogenic for the respiratory system. Decontamination was successful in ten of 13 patients in group A vs. one of 15 patients in group B (p less than .001). The results demonstrated a lower rate of infection in the lower respiratory tract in the study group (three patients with tracheobronchitis and no pneumonias) than in the control group (three patients with tracheobronchitis and 11 with pneumonia), the difference between both being highly significant (p less than .001). Two (15%) patients in group B developed sepsis of pulmonary origin. None of the patients on prophylactic treatment developed this complication. Although the overall mortality was similar in both groups (group A, 30% vs. group B, 33%), we believe that infection contributed to a great extent to the death of two of five patients in group B. We conclude that nosocomial pneumonia, which is a frequent complication in critically ill patients on mechanical ventilation, could be prevented by local application of nonabsorbable antibiotics to the oropharynx.
"We identified 17 randomized controlled trials of SDD [13-29], 5 randomized controlled trials of SOD [30-34], and 8 randomized controlled trials of probiotics [35-42] with VAP as one of the endpoints in critically ill patients in general surgical and/or medical ICUs. Study details and the main results of trials of SDD, SOD and probiotics are presented in Tables 1, 2 and 3. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mechanically ventilated critically ill patients frequently develop ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), a life-threatening complication. Proposed preventive measures against VAP include, but are not restricted to, selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD), selective oropharyngeal decontamination (SOD) and the use of probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that could have beneficial effects on the host by altering gastrointestinal flora. Similar to SDD and SOD, a prescription of probiotics aims at the prevention of secondary colonization of the upper and/or lower digestive tract.
We performed a literature review to describe the differences and similarities between SDD/SOD and probiotic preventive strategies, focusing on (a) efficacy, (b) risks, and (c) the routing of these strategies.
Reductions in the incidence of VAP have been achieved with SDD and SOD. Two large randomized controlled trials even showed reduced mortality with these preventive strategies. Randomized controlled trials of probiotic strategies also showed a reduction of the incidence of VAP, but trials were too small to draw firm conclusions. Preventive strategies with antibiotics and probiotics may be limited due to the risk of emerging resistance to the locally applied antibiotics and the risk of probiotic-related infections, respectively. The majority of trials of SDD and SOD did not exhaustively address the issue of emerging resistance. Likewise, trials of probiotic strategies did not adequately address the risk of colonization with probiotics and probiotic-related infection. In studies of SDD and SOD the preventive strategy aimed at decontamination of the oral cavity, throat, stomach and intestines, and the oral cavity and throat, respectively. In the vast majority of studies of probiotic therapy the preventive strategy aimed at decontamination of the stomach and intestines.
Prophylactic use of antibiotics in critically ill patients is effective in reducing the incidence of VAP. Probiotic strategies deserve consideration in future well-powered trials. Future studies are needed to determine if preventive antibiotic and probiotic strategies are safe with regard to development of antibiotic resistance and probiotic infections. It should be determined whether the efficacy of probiotics improves when these agents are provided to the mouth and the intestines simultaneously.
"AB-SOD was associated with reduced incidences of VAP in various studies [4-6], and recently also with a better 28-day survival in a large Dutch multi-center study . In that study, AB-SOD was equally effective in improving patient outcome as selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD), which combines AB-SOD with intestinal decontamination and 4 days of intravenous cefotaxim. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common cause of morbidity, antibiotic use, increased length of stay and, possibly, increased mortality in ICU patients. Colonization of the oropharyngeal cavity with potentially pathogenic micro-organisms is instrumental in the pathogenesis of VAP, and selective oropharyngeal decontamination (SOD) with antibiotics (AB-SOD) or antiseptics, such as chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX-SOD), has been associated with reduced incidences of VAP. In a recent issue of Critical Care Scannapieco and colleagues investigated differences in oropharyngeal colonization between mechanically ventilated patients receiving oropharyngeal decontamination with 0.12% CHX-SOD either once or twice daily compared to placebo. CHX-SOD was associated with a reduction in Staphylococcus aureus colonization, but the study was underpowered to demonstrate a reduction in VAP incidence. We urgently need well-designed and adequately powered studies to evaluate the potential benefits of CHX-SOD on patient outcome in ICUs.
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