Intravenous Colistin for Multidrug-Resistant Gram-Negative Infections in Critically Ill Pediatric Patients

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Nosocomial infection due to multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens in ICUs is a challenge for clinicians and microbiologists and has led to the resurgence of IV colistin use in the last decade. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of IV colistin in the treatment of critically ill children with multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections.

Design and Setting:

Retrospective descriptive study conducted in the PICU of Maulana Azad Medical College and associated Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, Delhi, India, during the period of January 2010 to December 2011.


The records of critically ill children with multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections treated with IV colistin were reviewed.


Fifty critically ill children received IV colistin; their median age was 36 months (range: 1 mo–12 yr), with male:female ratio of 3:2. The isolated pathogens were Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Enterobacter cloacae. Mean duration of colistin therapy was 14.3 days (range, 7–21). A favorable clinical outcome occurred in 36 children (72%), and 14 children (28%) died due to severe sepsis with multiple-organ dysfunction syndrome. Renal toxicity occurred in five children and was associated with multiple-organ dysfunction syndrome in three and coadministration of vancomycin in two. No neurotoxic adverse effects due to colistin therapy were reported.


Our study suggests that IV colistin may have a role in the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in critically ill children, but further prospective and randomized control trials are needed to confirm its efficacy and safety in children.

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