Ventilator-Associated Tracheobronchitis Increases the Length of Intensive Care Unit Stay
AuthorKarvouniaris, M.; Makris, D.; Manoulakas, E.; Zygoulis, P.; Mantzarlis, K.; Triantaris, A.; Chatzi, M.; Zakynthinos, E.
OBJECTIVE. To investigate prospectively the clinical course and risk factors for ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis (VAT) and the impact of VAT on intensive care unit (ICU) morbidity and mortality. DESIGN. Prospective cohort study. SETTING. University Hospital Larissa, Larissa, Greece PATIENTS. Critical care patients who received mechanical ventilation for more than 48 hours were prospectively studied between 2009 and 2011. METHODS. The modified Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score, white blood cell count, and C-reactive protein level were systematically assessed every 2 days for the first 2 weeks of ICU stay. Bronchial secretions were assessed daily. Quantitative cultures of endotracheal secretions were performed on the first ICU day for every patient and every 2 days thereafter for the first 2 weeks or more at the discretion of the attending physicians. Definition of VAT was based on previously published criteria. RESULTS. A total of 236 patients were observed; 42 patients (18%) presented with VAT. Gram-negative pathogens, which were usually multidrug resistant, were responsible for 92.9% of cases. Patients with a neurosurgical admission presented with VAT significantly more often than did other ICU patients (28.5% vs 14.1%; P = .02). The occurrence of VAT was a significant risk factor for increased duration of ICU stay (OR [95% CI], 3.04 [1.35-6.85]; P = . 01). Age (OR [95% CI], 1.04 [1.015-1.06]; P = .02), Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score (OR [95% CI], 1.08 [1.015-1.16]; P = .02), and C-reactive protein level at admission (OR [95% CI], 1.05 [1.01-1.1]; P = .02) were independent factors for ICU mortality. CONCLUSIONS. VAT is a nosocomial infection that might be associated with prolonged stay in the ICU, especially in neurocritical patients. VAT was not associated with increased mortality in our study.