Inhaled antibiotics are an established treatment for chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) infection in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). However, inhaled antibiotics might also have prophylactic potential to delay acquisition of PA in early stages of the disease. From 1986-1999, all CF patients at this center who experienced defined risk situations for acquisition of PA (28 patients) received inhaled gentamicin (80 mg BID for those < 12 months; 120 mg BID for those > 12 months) for a minimum of 3 years. Twelve patients had repeated risk situations and continued this prophylaxis without interruption during the entire study period (group 1). In the remaining 16 patients, inhaled antibiotics were discontinued at various times for a variety of reasons (group 2). None of the patients in group 1, but 7 in group 2, became chronically infected with PA (P = 0.01). Lung function and chest X-ray scores were significantly worse in those 7 infected patients, when compared to the noninfected ones in both groups. This suggests that long-term-prophylaxis with inhaled gentamicin can effectively delay acquisition of PA and decrease disease progression in children with CF.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.