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Pharmacy Practice


We have previously identified substantial antibiotic treatment heterogeneity, even among organism-specific and site-specific infections with treatment guidelines. Therefore, we sought to quantify the extent of treatment heterogeneity among patients hospitalized with P. aeruginosa pneumonia in the national Veterans Affairs Healthcare System from Jan-2015 to Apr-2018. Daily antibiotic exposures were mapped from three days prior to culture collection until discharge. Heterogeneity was defined as unique patterns of antibiotic treatment (drug and duration) not shared by any other patient. Our study included 5300 patients, of whom 87.5% had unique patterns of antibiotic drug and duration. Among patients receiving any initial antibiotic/s with a change to at least one anti-pseudomonal antibiotic (n = 3530, 66.6%) heterogeneity was 97.2%, while heterogeneity was 91.5% in those changing from any initial antibiotic/s to only anti-pseudomonal antibiotics (n = 576, 10.9%). When assessing heterogeneity of anti-pseudomonal antibiotic classes, irrespective of other antibiotic/s received (n = 4542, 85.7%), 50.5% had unique patterns of antibiotic class and duration, with median time to first change of three days, and a median of two changes. Real-world evidence is needed to inform the development of treatment pathways and antibiotic stewardship initiatives based on clinical outcome data, which is currently lacking in the presence of such treatment heterogeneity.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.