BACKGROUND: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Effective treatment of VAP can be challenging due to a high prevalence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens as causative organisms. OBJECTIVE: To present the etiology of VAP in the United States (including national resistance trends of common nosocomial pathogens) and review dosing strategies aimed to optimize pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic parameters of antimicrobial agents. SUMMARY: The majority of nosocomial pneumonia cases are caused by gram-negative pathogens, most commonly P. aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp., A. baumannii, and K. pneumoniae. S. aureus is the most common gram-positive pathogen, with 55% of VAP isolates exhibiting methicillin resistance. Combination therapy is recommended when MDR pathogens and P. aeruginosa are suspected, although short-course therapy and deescalation should be considered when appropriate to reduce the risk of resistance. Optimized dosing strategies are important in increasing the probability of achieving successful outcomes. For example, when administering intravenous β-lactam therapy, prolonged infusion can be effective in increasing the T > MIC. CONCLUSION: Clinicians need to be familiar with local antibiograms as well as regional resistance trends in order to choose appropriate therapy for VAP. Optimized dosing strategies can be effective in increasing the probability of attaining pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic targets predictive of successful clinical outcomes.
|Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy
|Published - Jun 2009
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Health Policy