Microbiological characterization of severe exacerbations in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in patients admitted to the ICU with or without associated pneumonia: A retrospective cross-sectional study

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Fabio Varon
Cristina Torres-Caro
Catalina Herrera-Diaz
Abraham Ali
Angela Hernández-Parra
Carlos Aguirre-Franco
Ana María Uribe-Hernández


Objective: The goal of this study was to compare the microbiology of severe exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requiring admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), in patients with pneumonia compared to those that did not have.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study that included patients with severe COPD exacerbation. We took microbiologic and serologic samples to study the etiology of the exacerbation and chest X-ray to see whether or not it had associated pneumonia.

Results: Ninety-one patients were included in the study. 53/91 (58%) had pneumonia. The most prevalent bacteria isolated were H. influenzae (25.3%), Moraxella spp (22%), H. parainfluenza (14.3%), Serratia marcescens (13.2%), mixed flora (9.9%) and methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (9.9%). A statistically significant difference could not be demonstrated between the two groups. We detected 24.2% of bacterial resistance in both groups, the most frequent being AMPc (13 cases).

Discussion: Bacterial pneumonia in COPD patients is higher in comparison with patients with acute exacerbation. Even though we did not find a significant difference in the microbiology of the groups with or without pneumonia, there are variables such as past smoking related to having pneumonia. Patients with pneumonia also had higher severity scores.

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