To compare the available methods for the diagnosis of ventilator-associated pneumonia in intubated pediatric patients and to suggest less costly diagnostic method for developing countries.Design:
Pediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary care, multidisciplinary teaching hospital located in northern India.Patients:
All consecutive patients on mechanical ventilation for >48 hrs were evaluated clinically for ventilator-associated pneumonia.Interventions:
Four diagnostic procedures (tracheal aspiration, blind bronchial sampling, blind bronchoalveolar lavage, and bronchoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage) were performed in the same sequence within 12 hrs of clinical suspicion of ventilator-associated pneumonia. The bacterial density ≥104 colony-forming units/mL in a bronchoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage sample was taken as reference standard.Measurements and Main Results:
Thirty patients with 40 episodes of ventilator-associated pneumonia were included in the study. Tracheal aspirate at the cutoff of ≥105 colony-forming units/mL was found to have sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of 84%, 77%, 87.5%, 73%, and 80%, respectively. For blind bronchial sampling at ≥104 colony-forming units/mL cutoff, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy were 88%, 82%, 88%, 83%, and 87%, respectively; the most reliable results were obtained with blind bronchoalveolar lavage at the cutoff of ≥103 cfu/mL (sensitivity 96%, specificity 80%, positive predictive value 88%, negative predictive value 92%, and accuracy 90%). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of tracheal aspiration, blind bronchial sampling, and blind bronchoalveolar lavage was 0.87 ± 0.06, 0.89 ± 0.06, and 0.89 ± 0.05, respectively. The cost of balloon-tip pressure catheter used for blind bronchoalveolar lavage was INR 1600.00 (US$40) whereas that for blind bronchial sampling was only INR 35.00 (<1 US$).Conclusions:
Blind bronchoalveolar lavage was the most reliable method followed closely by blind bronchial sampling for the diagnosis of ventilator-associated pneumonia. Considering the difference of the cost in the two procedures, blind bronchial sampling may be the preferred method in the pediatric intensive care unit of a developing country.