Several studies have described a clinical benefit of macrolides due to their immunomodulatory properties in various respiratory diseases. We aimed to assess the effect of macrolide therapy on mortality in patients hospitalized for Pseudomonas aeruginosa community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).
We performed a retrospective population-based study of > 150 hospitals in the US Veterans Health Administration. Patients were included if they had a diagnosis of CAP and P aeruginosa was identified as the causative pathogen. Patients with health-care-associated pneumonia and immunosuppression were excluded. Macrolide therapy was considered when administered within the first 48 h of admission. Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed using 30-day mortality as the dependent measure.
We included 402 patients with P aeruginosa CAP, of whom 171 (42.5%) received a macrolide during the first 48 h of admission. These patients were older and white. Macrolide use was not associated with lower 30-day mortality (hazard ratio, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.70-1.83; P = .5). In addition, patients treated with macrolides had no differences in ICU admission, use of mechanical ventilation, use of vasopressors, and length of stay (LOS) compared with patients not treated with macrolides. A subgroup analysis among patients with P aeruginosa CAP in the ICU showed no differences in baseline characteristics and outcomes.
Macrolide therapy in the first 48 h of admission is not associated with decreased 30-day mortality, ICU admission, need for mechanical ventilation, and LOS in hospitalized patients with P aeruginosa CAP. Larger cohort studies should address the benefit of macrolides as immunomodulators in patients with P aeruginosa CAP.