Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is characterized by chronic bacterial broncho-pulmonary infection. Although intravenous (i.v.) antibiotic therapy is regarded as standard treatment in CF, only few randomised trials comparing different antibiotic compounds exist.
Methods: We report on a prospective multicenter interventional trial of i.v. meropenem (120 mg/kg/day) or i.v. ceftazidime (200-400 mg/kg/day), each administered together with i.v. tobramycin (9-12 mg/kg/day). Outcome measures were changes in lung function, microbiological sputum burden and blood inflammatory marker. Liver and renal function values were measured to assess safety.
Results: One hundred eighteen patients (59/59) were included into the study with the following indications: first infection of P. aeruginosa (n=6), acute pulmonary exacerbation (n=34) and suppression therapy of chronic P. aeruginosa colonization (n=78). Both treatments improved lung function measures, bacterial sputum burden and CRP levels with no differences between treatment groups observed. A significant higher elevation for alkaline phosphatase (p<0.0001) was observed for patients in the meropenem/tobramycin group.
Conclusions: i.v. antibiotic therapy in CF patients with meropenem/tobramycin is as effective as with ceftazidime/tobramycin regarding lung function, microbiological sputum burden and systemic inflammatory status. Hepato-biliary function should be monitored carefully during i.v. treatment, possibly important in CF patients with pre-existing liver disease.