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      Nebulized Colistin And Continuous Cyclic Azithromycin In Severe COPD Patients With Chronic Bronchial Infection Due To Pseudomonas aeruginosa: A Retrospective Cohort Study

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          Long-term use of nebulized or oral antibiotics is common in the treatment of cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. To date, however, few studies have focused on the use of nebulized antibiotics in COPD patients. The aims of this study are: to establish whether a combination of nebulized colistin plus continuous cyclic azithromycin in severe COPD patients with chronic bronchial infection due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa reduces the frequency of exacerbations, and to assess the effect of this treatment on microbiological sputum isolates.

          Material and methods

          A retrospective cohort was created for the analysis of patients with severe COPD and chronic bronchial infection due to P. aeruginosa treated with nebulized colistin at the Respiratory Day Care Unit between 2005 and 2015. The number and characteristics of COPD exacerbations (ECOPD) before and up to two years after the introduction of nebulized colistin treatment were recorded.


          We analyzed 32 severe COPD patients who received nebulized colistin for at least three months (median 17 months [IQR 7–24]). All patients but one received combination therapy with continuous cyclic azithromycin (median 24 months [IQR 11–30]). A significant reduction in the number of ECOPD from baseline of 38.3% at two years of follow-up was observed, with a clear decrease in P. aeruginosa ECOPD (from 59.5% to 24.6%) and a P. aeruginosa eradication rate of 28% over the two-year follow-up.


          In patients with severe COPD and chronic bronchial infection due to P. aeruginosa, combination therapy with nebulized colistin and continuous cyclic azithromycin significantly reduced the number of ECOPD, with a marked decrease in P. aeruginosa sputum isolates.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Azithromycin in patients with cystic fibrosis chronically infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa: a randomized controlled trial.

          Treatment strategies for cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease include antibiotics, mucolytics, and anti-inflammatory therapies. Increasing evidence suggests that macrolide antibiotics might be beneficial in patients with CF. To determine if an association between azithromycin use and pulmonary function exists in patients with CF. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted from December 15, 2000, to May 2, 2002, at 23 CF care centers in the United States. Of the 251 screened participants with a diagnosis of CF, 185 (74%) were randomized. Eligibility criteria included age 6 years or older, infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa for 1 or more years, and a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) of 30% or more. Participants were stratified by FEV1 (> or =60% predicted vs or =40 kg) of oral azithromycin 3 days a week for 168 days; placebo group (n = 98) received identically packaged tablets. Change in FEV1 from day 0 to completion of therapy at day 168 and determination of safety. Secondary outcomes included pulmonary exacerbations and weight gain. The azithromycin group had a mean 0.097-L (SD, 0.26) increase in FEV1 at day 168 compared with 0.003 L (SD, 0.23) in the placebo group (mean difference, 0.094 L; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.023-0.165; P =.009). Nausea occurred in 17% more participants in the azithromycin group (P =.01), diarrhea in 15% more (P =.009), and wheezing in 13% more (P =.007). Participants in the azithromycin group had less risk of experiencing an exacerbation than participants in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.44-0.95; P =.03) and weighed at the end of the study an average 0.7 kg more than participants receiving placebo (95% CI, 0.1-1.4 kg; P =.02). Azithromycin treatment was associated with improvement in clinically relevant end points and should be considered for patients with CF who are 6 years or older and chronically infected with P aeruginosa.
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            Relationship between bacterial flora in sputum and functional impairment in patients with acute exacerbations of COPD. Study Group of Bacterial Infection in COPD.

            To investigate the possible relationship between functional respiratory impairment measured by FEV1 and isolation of diverse pathogens in the sputum of patients with exacerbations of COPD. Multicenter, cross-sectional, epidemiologic study. Pneumology units in six secondary or tertiary hospitals in Spain. Ninety-one patients with acute exacerbation of COPD were included. A quantitative sputum culture was performed, and bacterial growth was considered significant only when the germ was isolated at concentrations > 10(6) cfu (> 10(5) for Streptococcus pneumoniae) in samples with 25 leukocytes per low magnification field (x 100). Germs isolated were the following: Haemophilus influenzae (20 cases; 22%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (14 cases; 15%), S. pneumoniae (9 cases; 10%), Moraxella catarrhalis (8 cases; 9%), other gram-negative bacteria (7 cases; 7%), and non-potentially pathogenic microorganisms (non-PPMs; 33 cases; 36%). P. aeruginosa and H. influenzae were isolated more frequently among the patients with FEV1 50% (p 50% was low, with a predominance of non-PPMs. Low FEV1 and active tobacco smoking are data that should be considered when establishing an empiric antibiotic treatment for exacerbated COPD.
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              Infective exacerbations of chronic bronchitis: relation between bacteriologic etiology and lung function.

              In patients with severe COPD, acute infective exacerbations are frequent. Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae are the most commonly isolated bacteria in sputum cultures from these patients. We hypothesized that in patients with advanced disease, Gram-negative bacteria other than H influenzae play at least an equally important role. We evaluated clinical data and sputum culture results from 211 unselected COPD patients admitted to our hospital with an acute infective exacerbation of COPD. One hundred twelve patients fulfilled our protocol criteria of reliable microbiologic results and reproducible lung function tests; the patients were categorized according to the recently published three stages of severity. Lung function tests revealed an FEV1 of > or =50% of the predicted value in 30 patients (stage I), an FEV1 of 35% to <50% of the predicted value in 30 patients (stage II), and an FEV1 of < or =35% of the predicted value in 34 patients (stage III). Bacteria were classified into three groups: group 1 contained S pneumoniae and other Gram-positive cocci; group 2, H influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis; and group 3, Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas spp. For all patients together, the most frequently isolated bacteria were group 3 organisms (Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas spp, 48.2%), followed by group 1 organisms (S pneumoniae and other Gram-positive cocci, 30.4%), and group 2 organisms (H influenzae and M catarrhalis, 21.4%). In stage I patients, 14 of 30 had bacteria from group 1, seven of 30 had group 2, and nine of 30 had group 3. In stage II patients, eight of 30 had group 1 bacteria, 10 of 30 had group 2, and 12 of 30 had group 3. In stage III patients, 12 of 52 had group 1 bacteria, seven of 52 had group 2, and 22 of 52 had group 3. The three groups of bacteria causing infective exacerbations were unevenly distributed among the three severity stages of lung function (p=0.016). There is a correlation between deterioration of lung function and the bacteria isolated from patients with infective exacerbations of COPD. In acute infective exacerbations, Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas spp are the predominant bacteria in patients with an FEV1 < or =35% of the predicted value.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                17 October 2019
                : 14
                : 2365-2373
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hospital De Sabadell, Institut Universitari Parc Taulí-UAB , Sabadell, Spain
                [2 ]Health Services Research on Chronic Diseases Network-REDISSEC , Galdakao, Spain
                [3 ]CIBER de Enfermedades Respiratorias, CIBERES , Madrid, Spain
                [4 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Fundació Althaia , Manresa, Spain
                [5 ]Laboratory of Microbiology-UDIAT, Institut Universitari Parc Taulí-UAB , Sabadell, Spain
                [6 ]Epidemiology and Assessment Unit, Fundació Parc Taulí, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona , Sabadell, Spain
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Concepción Montón Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hospital de Sabadell, Institut Universitari Parc Tauli-UAB , Parc Taulí 1, Sabadell, Barcelona08208, SpainTel +34 93 7458262 Email
                © 2019 Montón et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 6, References: 25, Pages: 9
                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                copd, exacerbation, azithromycin, colistin, pseudomonas aeruginosa


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