Study objectives: Respiratory failure (RF) is a frequent cause of death among patients with bilateral bronchiectasis. An ICU admission is commonly required, and neither short-term or long-term outcomes have been studied.
Design: We performed a retrospective study over a 10-year period (January 1990 to March 2000). All patients with bilateral bronchiectasis admitted for the first time in the medical ICU for RF were reviewed. Patients with cystic fibrosis were excluded.
Measurements and results: Forty-eight patients (mean age ± SD, 63 ± 11 years; mean simplified acute physiology score [SAPS] II, 32 ± 12) of whom 25% received long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) were identified. All the patients were treated with intensive medical care, associated with noninvasive ventilation in 13 patients (27%), and 26 patients (54%) required intubation. Nine patients (19%) died in the ICU. The 1-year mortality rate was 40%. Among the variables recorded at ICU admission, age > 65 years (p = 0.002), SAPS II score > 32 (p = 0.012), use of LTOT (p = 0.047), and intubation (p = 0.027) were associated with reduced survival in univariate analysis by Cox regression. Multivariate analysis by Cox proportional hazard model showed that age > 65 years (relative risk [RR], 2.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15 to 6.29) and use of LTOT (RR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.15 to 5.54) were independently associated with reduced survival.
Conclusions: We performed the first study providing information related to the impact of the first ICU stay for RF on long-term outcomes for patients with bilateral bronchiectasis. Age > 65 years and prior use of LTOT were associated with reduced survival.