Bacteremia in Patients With Liver Cirrhosis: Prevalence and Predictors of Multidrug Resistant Organisms

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The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and predictors of multidrug resistant organisms (MDRO) in cirrhotic patients with bacteremia at a large tertiary center in the United States.


The epidemiology of bacteremia in patients with liver cirrhosis has not been well studied in the United States.


This case-case control study included 180 adults with liver cirrhosis hospitalized from 2011 to 2015. Case group 1 were patients with bacteremia due to a MDRO (n=30). Case group 2 were patients with bacteremia due to a non-MDRO (n=60). Control group comprised patients without bacteremia (n=90). MDRO was defined as bacteria that was nonsusceptible to ≥1 agent in ≥3 antimicrobial categories.


Of the 90 bacteremia episodes, 44% were because of gram-positive bacteria, 50% were because of gram-negative bacteria, and 6% were polymicrobial. MDROs caused 30 of 90 (33%) bacteremia episodes, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus species [12% (11/90)], fluoroquinolone-resistant Enterobacteriaceae [10% (9/90)], and Enterococcus faecium [3% (3/90)]. Eight percent of Enterobacteriaceae produced extended-spectrum β-lactamases. Four independent predictors of MDROs were identified: nonwhite race [adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 3.35; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.19-9.38], biliary cirrhosis (aOR, 11.75; 95% CI, 2.08-66.32), blood cultures obtained >48 hours after hospital admission (aOR, 6.02; 95% CI, 1.70-21.40), and recent health care exposure (aOR, 9.81; 95% CI, 2.15-44.88).


A significant proportion of bacteremia in cirrhotic patients was due to MDROs at a large US tertiary care center. Local epidemiology data and identification of risk factors associated with MDROs may help with optimal empiric antibiotic selection.

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