Author(s): Ferrer M, Ioanas M, Arancibia F, Marco MA, de la Bellacasa JP,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Abnormal airway colonization in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) needing invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) is considered a first step in the acquisition of nosocomial pneumonia. Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) could potentially avoid this, but airway colonization has not been studied in patients who undergo NIV. We hypothesized that patients undergoing NIV would have lower rates of colonization than patients undergoing IMV. The aim of the study was to assess the microbial airway colonization in patients with exacerbated COPD needing NIV and IMV. DESIGN: A 2-yr prospective cohort study. SETTING: Respiratory intensive and intermediate care unit. PATIENTS: Eighty-six patients with exacerbated COPD undergoing NIV on admission (64 successes and 22 failures, according to subsequent intubation), and 51 patients undergoing IMV on admission. INTERVENTIONS: Quantitative culture specimens of sputum or tracheal aspirate were collected on admission and at follow-up (day 3) during NIV or IMV, respectively. Clinical assessment, including severity scores, and arterial blood gas measurements were also determined. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Compared with the NIV-success group, colonization by potentially pathogenic microorganisms was greater in the NIV-failure group on admission (13 [59\%] vs. 14 [22\%]; p < .001) and at follow-up while patients still underwent NIV (14 [93\%] vs. 7 [14\%]; p < .001), and it was even higher than during IMV at follow-up (20 [50\%]; p = .027). Colonization by nonfermenting Gram-negative bacilli, mainly Pseudomonas aeruginosa, was significantly associated with NIV failure on admission (OR, 5.6; p = .016) and at follow-up (OR, 23.5; p < .001). Moreover, colonization by these microorganisms at follow-up (OR, 8.8; p = .008) and inadequate antimicrobial treatment (OR 11.3; p = .001) were associated with increased hospital mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Airway colonization by nonfermenting Gram-negative bacilli is strongly associated with NIV failure. Because it occurs before intubation, this would be a marker rather than just a consequence of NIV failure necessitating intubation. The efficacy of decreasing airway colonization in preventing NIV failure needs to be assessed.
This article was published in Crit Care Med
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access