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Whether vancomycin resistance is independently associated with mortality among patients with enterococcal bloodstream infection (BSI) is controversial. To address this issue, we performed a systematic literature review with meta-analysis.Data sources were studies identified using the MEDLINE database (for articles from 1988 through March 2003), the Cochrane Library (for articles published up to March 2003), and bibliographies of identified articles. Inclusion criteria were that the study assessed mortality after enterococcal BSI, compared mortality after vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) BSI with that after vancomycin-susceptible enterococci (VSE) BSI, and adjusted for severity of illness. Study exclusion criteria were as follows: no report of the adjusted measure of effect (adjusted odds ratio [OR], adjusted hazard ratio, or adjusted relative risk) of vancomycin resistance on mortality available and/or its adjusted 95% confidence interval (95% CI). Data in the tables, figures, or text were independently extracted by 2 of the authors. Individual weights were calculated using the 95% CI of the adjusted measures of effect performing both fixed-effect and random-effects models.Nine studies were eligible (11 studies met the inclusion criteria, and 2 were excluded), with a total of 1614 enterococcal BSI episodes (683 VRE episodes and 931 VSE episodes). Patients with bacteremia caused by VRE were more likely to die than were those with VSE bacteremia (summary OR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.9-3.4).Vancomycin resistance is independently associated with increased mortality among patients with enterococcal bloodstream infection.