Introduction: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains an important pathogen in pneumonia. Bacteremia may secondarily complicate MRSA pneumonia. The epidemiology and outcomes associated with bacteremia in the setting of MRSA pneumonia are unknown. We sought to describe the prevalence of bacteremia in MRSA pneumonia and its impact on hospital mortality and length of stay (LOS).
Methods: We conducted a single-center retrospective cohort study (2008-2013) including adult patients hospitalized with pneumonia caused by MRSA. We defined pneumonia based on clinical criteria and all cases were culture confirmed. MRSA bacteremia was identified based on positive blood cultures. Pneumonia was categorized as either community-onset (CO, occurring at presentation or within 2 days of admission) or hospital-onset (HO, occurring > 2 days after admission). We compared bacteremic and non-bacteremic groups with respect to their demographic and clinical characteristics and outcomes. A logistic regression and a generalized linear model (GLM) were constructed to examine the impact of bacteremia on hospital mortality and post-pneumonia onset LOS, respectively.
Results: Among the 765 patients with MRSA pneumonia (33.1% CO), 93 (12.2%) had concurrent bacteremia (37.6% CO). Patients with bacteremia were similar to non-bacteremic subjects based on demographic and clinical characteristics with the exception of frequency of a hospitalization within prior 180 days (48.4% bacteremic and 37.7% non-bacteremic, p = 0.047), prevalence of chronic liver disease (17.2% vs. 9.5%, p = 0.030), and the mean APACHE II score at the onset of pneumonia (17.5 ± 6.0 vs. 16.1 ± 6.0, p = 0.045). Both unadjusted mortality (33.7% vs. 23.8%, p = 0.067) and median post-pneumonia LOS (18.2 vs. 12.2 days, p < 0.001) were greater in the bacteremic than the non-bacteremic group. In a logistic regression, bacteremia showed a trend toward an association with increased mortality (odds ratio 1.56, 95% confidence interval 0.93 to 2.61). Concomitant bacteremia was independently associated with a 10.3-day increase in the post-pneumonia hospital LOS (95% confidence interval 6.7 to 13.9 days).
Conclusions: Concurrent bacteremia occurred with moderate frequency in the setting of hospitalization with MRSA pneumonia. Although bacteremia did not appear to independently impact mortality, this was likely due to our study's limited sample size. However, bacteremia complicating MRSA pneumonia added between 1 and 2 weeks to the hospital LOS.