Background: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is one of the most frequent infectious disease conditions. With the aim of knowing the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies of CAP in Spanish hospitals we performed a prospective, observational and multicenter study.
Patients and method: Observational study of 468 patients with CAP consecutively evaluated in 21 Spanish hospitals. Clinical, diagnostic, therapeutic and evolutive variables were recorded.
Results: We included 468 patients with a mean age of 63 (18) years; 75% of them had some comorbidity. 380 (81%) patients required hospitalization in a conventional ward while 19 (4%) were admitted in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). 69 patients (15%) required ICU admission. During the first 24 h of admission, biochemical determinations were performed in 98% of cases, blood gas measurements in 88%, blood cultures in 265 (58%), sputum cultures in 149 (41%) and an invasive diagnostic technique was carried out in 17 cases. In 62 cases (14%), a microbiological diagnosis was achieved. Streptococcus pneumoniae (28 cases) was the most frequent isolate followed by Legionella pneumophila (6 cases). Clarithromycin was the most frequent antibiotic prescribed (38%), either as monotherapy (28) or in combination (148), followed by amoxicillin-clavulanate (124 cases). Nine percent of patients were considered non-responders to initial empirical antibiotic tretament. Overall mortality was 6% (25%) and it was significanty higher in non-responders.
Conclusions: In most patients with CAP admitted in Spanish hospitals, a systematic diagnostic approach is lacking. There is an important variability in the administration of antimicrobials, the association of a betalactam plus clarithromycin being the most frequent strategy. Overall mortality is low and significantly higher in those patients with a lack of response to initial antibiotic treatment.