We evaluated the effect of antibiotics administered via the respiratory tract to prevent the ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in mechanically ventilated (MV) patients.Methods:
We searched relevant articles for trials that evaluated the impact of prophylactic antibiotics administered through the respiratory tract on the occurrence of VAP. The end-point was the occurrence of VAP in MV patients.Results:
We included 6 comparative trials involving 1158 patients (632 received prophylactic antibiotic). Our meta-analysis revealed that prophylactic antibiotics administered through the respiratory tract reduced the occurrence of VAP when compared to placebo or no treatment (OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.34–0.84). This effect was seen when the antibiotics were given by nebulization (OR 0.46; 95% CI 0.22–0.97), but not when they were administered by intratracheal instillation (OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.28–1.15). We did not find a significant difference between the compared groups in the intensive care unit (ICU) mortality (OR 0.89; 95% CI 0.64–1.25). Antibiotic prophylaxis did not impact occurrence of VAP due to multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogens (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.17–2.62).Conclusions:
Prophylactic antibiotics administered through the respiratory tract by nebulization reduce the occurrence of VAP, without a significant effect on either the ICU mortality or occurrence of VAP due to MDR pathogens.