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Open Access Research

Empirical use of fluoroquinolones improves the survival of critically ill patients with tuberculosis mimicking severe pneumonia

Yu-Tzu Tseng1, Yu-Chung Chuang2, Chin-Chung Shu1, Chien-Ching Hung2, Chiung-Fang Hsu2 and Jann-Yuan Wang2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Traumatology, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, No. 7, Chung Shan S. Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 10002, Taiwan

2 Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, No. 7, Chung Shan S. Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 10002, Taiwan

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Critical Care 2012, 16:R207  doi:10.1186/cc11839

Published: 25 October 2012

Abstract

Introduction

Empirical use of fluoroquinolones may delay the initiation of appropriate therapy for tuberculosis (TB). This study aimed to evaluate the impact of empirical fluoroquinolone use on the survival of patients with pulmonary TB that mimicked severe community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) requiring intensive care.

Methods

Patients aged >18 years with culture-confirmed pulmonary TB who presented as severe CAP and were admitted to the ICU were divided into fluoroquinolone (FQ) and nonfluoroquinolone (non-FQ) groups based on the type of empirical antibiotics used. Those patients with previous anti-TB treatment or those who died within 3 days of hospitalization were excluded. The primary end point was 100-day survival.

Results

Of the 77 patients identified, 43 (56%) were in the FQ group and 34 (44%) were in the non-FQ group. The two groups had no statistically significant difference in co-morbidities (95% vs. 97%, P > 0.99) and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores (21.2 ± 7.1 vs. 22.5 ± 7.5, P = 0.46) on ICU admission. Overall, 91% and 82% of patients in the FQ and non-FQ groups, respectively, had sputum examinations for TB within 1 week of admission (P = 0.46), and results were positive in 7% and 15% (P = 0.47), respectively. For both groups, 29% received appropriate anti-TB therapy within 2 weeks after ICU admission. The 100-day mortality rate was 40% and 68% for the FQ and non-FQ groups, respectively (P = 0.02). By Cox regression analysis, APACHE score <20, no bacteremia during the ICU stay, and empirical fluoroquinolone use were independently associated with survival.

Conclusion

Empirical use of fluoroquinolones may improve the survival of ICU patients admitted for pulmonary TB mimicking severe CAP.