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Clinical Investigations in Critical Care |

Role of Different Routes of Tracheal Colonization in the Development of Pneumonia in Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilation*

José Antonio Cardeñosa Cendrero, MD; Jorge Solé-Violán, MD; Ana Bordes Benítez, MD; Javier Noguera Catalán, MD; Javier Arroyo Fernández, MD; Pedro Saavedra Santana, PhD; Felipe Rodríguez de Castro, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Servicio de Medicina Intensiva (Drs. Cendrero, Solé-Violán, and Fernández), Servicio de Microbiología (Drs. Benítez and Catalán), Catedrático de Estadística, Unidad de Investigación (Dr. Santana), and Sección de Neumología (Dr. de Castro), Hospital Ntra Sra del Pino, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

Correspondence to: J. Solé-Violán, MD, Servicio de Medicina Intensiva, Hospital Ntra Sra del Pino, C/Angel Guimerá, 93, 35010 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; e-mail: jsole@correo.hpino.rcanaria.es



Chest. 1999;116(2):462-470. doi:10.1378/chest.116.2.462
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Study objective: To evaluate the importance of the different pathogenic pathways involved in the development of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: An 18-bed medical and surgical ICU.

Patients: One hundred twenty-three patients receiving mechanical ventilation (MV).

Interventions: Tracheal, pharyngeal, and gastric samples were obtained simultaneously every 24 h. In cases where VAP was suspected clinically, bronchoscopy with protected specimen brush and BAL were performed. Semiquantitative cultures of pharyngeal samples and quantitative cultures for the remaining samples were obtained.

Results: Tracheal colonization at some time during MV was observed in 110 patients (89%). Eighty patients had initial colonization, 34 patients had primary colonization, and 50 patients had secondary colonization. Nineteen patients had VAP, and 25 organisms were isolated. For none of these organisms was the stomach the initial site of colonization. Gram-positive organisms colonized mainly in the trachea during the first 24 h of MV (p < 0.001). On the contrary, enteric Gram-negative bacilli (p < 0.001) and yeasts (p < 0.002) colonized the trachea secondarily. Previous endotracheal intubation (p < 0.005) and acute renal failure before admission to the ICU (p < 0.001) were associated with colonization by Pseudomonas aeruginosa; prior antibiotics were associated with colonization by Acinetobacter baumanii (p < 0.05) and yeasts (p < 0.006); and cranial trauma was associated with Staphylococcus aureus colonization (p < 0.035).

Conclusions: Although the stomach can be a source of organisms that colonize the tracheobronchial tree, it is a much less common source of the bacteria that cause VAP. The pattern of colonization and risk factors may be different according to the type of organisms involved.


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