Combination antibiotic therapy improves survival in patients with community-acquired pneumonia and shock

Crit Care Med. 2007 Jun;35(6):1493-8. doi: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000266755.75844.05.


Objective: To assess whether combination antibiotic therapy improves outcome of severe community-acquired pneumonia in the subset of patients with shock.

Design: Secondary analysis of a prospective observational, cohort study.

Setting: Thirty-three intensive care units (ICUs) in Spain.

Patients: Patients were 529 adults with community-acquired pneumonia requiring ICU admission.

Interventions: None.

Measurement and main results: Two hundred and seventy (51%) patients required vasoactive drugs and were categorized as having shock. The effects of combination antibiotic therapy and monotherapy on survival were compared using univariate analysis and a Cox regression model. The adjusted 28-day in-ICU mortality was similar (p = .99) for combination antibiotic therapy and monotherapy in the absence of shock. However, in patients with shock, combination antibiotic therapy was associated with significantly higher adjusted 28-day in-ICU survival (hazard ratio, 1.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-2.60; p = .01) in a Cox hazard regression model. Even when monotherapy was appropriate, it achieved a lower 28-day in-ICU survival than an adequate antibiotic combination (hazard ratio, 1.64; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-2.64).

Conclusions: Combination antibiotic therapy does not seem to increase ICU survival in all patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia. However, in the subset of patients with shock, combination antibiotic therapy improves survival rates.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / complications
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections / mortality
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / complications
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / mortality
  • Prospective Studies
  • Shock / drug therapy*
  • Shock / etiology
  • Survival Analysis


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents