International Conference for the Development of Consensus on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Ventilator-associated Pneumonia

Chest. 2001 Sep;120(3):955-70. doi: 10.1378/chest.120.3.955.


Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is an important health problem that still generates great controversy. A consensus conference attended by 12 researchers from Europe and Latin America was held to discuss strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of VAP. Commonly asked questions concerning VAP management were selected for discussion by the participating researchers. Possible answers to the questions were presented to the researchers, who then recorded their preferences anonymously. This was followed by open discussion when the results were known. In general, peers thought that early microbiological examinations are warranted and contribute to improving the use of antibiotherapy. Nevertheless, no consensus was reached regarding choices of antimicrobial agents or the optimal duration of therapy. Piperacillin/tazobactam was the preferred choice for empiric therapy, followed by a cephalosporin with antipseudomonal activity and a carbapenem. All the peers agreed that the pathogens causing VAP and multiresistance patterns in their ICUs were substantially different from those reported in studies in the United States. Pathogens and multiresistance patterns also varied from researcher to researcher inside the group. Consensus was reached on the importance of local epidemiology surveillance programs and on the need for customized empiric antimicrobial choices to respond to local patterns of pathogens and susceptibilities.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Critical Illness
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Pneumonia / microbiology
  • Pneumonia / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Time Factors
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin