Nebulized Versus IV Amikacin as Adjunctive Antibiotic for Hospital and Ventilator-Acquired Pneumonia Postcardiac Surgeries: A Randomized Controlled Trial*

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Objective:Nebulized antibiotics offer high efficacy due to significant local concentrations and safety with minimal blood levels. This study evaluates the efficacy and nephrotoxicity of nebulized versus IV amikacin in postcardiothoracic surgical patients with nosocomial pneumonia caused by multidrug-resistant Gram- negative bacilli.Design:Prospective, randomized, controlled study on surgical patients divided into two groups.Setting:Postcardiac surgery ICU.Interventions:The first gtroup was administered IV amikacin 20 mg/kg once daily. The second group was prescribed amikacin nebulizer 400 mg twice daily. Both groups were co-administered IV piperacillin/tazobactam empirically.Patients:Recruited patients were diagnosed by either hospital-acquired pneumonia or ventilator-associated pneumonia where 56 (42.1%) patients were diagnosed with hospital-acquired pneumonia, 51 (38.34%) patients were diagnosed with early ventilator-associated pneumonia, and 26 (19.54%) patients with late ventilator-associated pneumonia.Measurements and Main Results:Clinical cure in both groups assessed on day 7 of treatment was the primary outcome. Efficacy was additionally evaluated through assessing the length of hospital stay, ICU stay, days on amikacin, days on mechanical ventilator, mechanical ventilator-free days, days to reach clinical cure, and mortality rate. Lower nephrotoxicity in the nebulized group was observed through significant preservation of kidney function (p < 0.001). Although both groups were comparable regarding length of hospital stay, nebulizer group showed shorter ICU stay (p = 0.010), lower number of days to reach complete clinical cure (p = 0.001), fewer days on mechanical ventilator (p = 0.035), and fewer days on amikacin treatment (p = 0.022).Conclusion:Nebulized amikacin showed better clinical cure rates, less ICU stay, and fewer days to reach complete recovery compared to IV amikacin for surgical patients with nosocomial pneumonia. It is also a less nephrotoxic option associated with less deterioration in kidney function.

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