Carbapenems for the treatment of immunocompetent adult patients with nosocomial pneumonia
The comparative effectiveness and safety of carbapenems with other beta-lactams and fluoroquinolones for the empirical treatment of patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia remains controversial. In the present study, a meta-analysis of 12 relevant randomised controlled trials was performed. Overall, carbapenems were associated with lower mortality than fluoroquinolones or beta-lactams, alone or in combination with aminoglycosides (odds ratio 0.72, 95% confidence interval 0.55-0.95). There was no difference between the compared antibiotics regarding treatment success (1.08, 0.91-1.29), microbiological success (1.04, 0.72-1.50) or development of adverse effects (0.81, 0.46-1.43). In the subset of patients with Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia, carbapenems were associated with lower treatment success (0.42, 0.22-0.82) and lower eradication of P. strains (0.50, 0.24-0.89). Carbapenems are equivalent to fluoroquinolones or beta-lactams, alone or in combination with aminoglycosides, for the empirical treatment of immunocompetent adult patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia. However, there is limited evidence, based predominantly on unblinded randomised controlled trials, that carbapenems are associated with lower mortality than the comparators; this association was not observed in a subset analysis of randomised controlled trials with a high methodological quality score. In patients with Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia, carbapenems are associated with worse outcomes than the comparators.