Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2022 Aug;23(6):597-603. doi: 10.1089/sur.2022.126.
Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a frequently occurring nosocomial infection in critically ill trauma patients. When bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) returns with indigenous oral flora (IOF), de-escalating antimicrobial therapy is challenging. Patients and Methods: This is a retrospective review of trauma patients who received broad-spectrum empiric antimicrobial therapy for clinical VAP, and whose BAL culture resulted with >100,000 CFU/mL of IOF from September 1, 2017 to September 1, 2020. Patients were identified using the trauma database and microbiology reports of BALs with IOF. This review evaluated the effect of antibiotic de-escalation on recurrent or persistent pneumonia. Results: Of 51 trauma patients with clinical VAP and IOF, 18 patients (35.3%) had antimicrobial agents de-escalated. De-escalation was driven primarily by the discontinuation of vancomycin, with the continuation of a β-lactam antibiotic as monotherapy for the remainder of the treatment course (n = 15; 86.7%). The overall rate of either persistent or recurrent VAP in the cohort was 10%, and this did not differ statistically between those who received de-escalation therapy after isolation of IOF and those who did not (16.7% vs. 6.1%; p = 0.224), however, the incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) was higher in the non-de-escalation group (39.4% vs. 11.1%; p = 0.034). There was no statistical difference in ventilator days, intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay, or hospital length of stay between treatment groups. Conclusions: Trauma patients who develop VAP with isolated BAL cultures of IOF or mixed flora can safely have anti-methicilllin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) antimicrobial agents discontinued, and this may result in decreased rates of AKI.