Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Surgical Patients with Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcal Infections

Joels, Charles S.; Matthews, Brent D.; Sigmon, Lee B.; Hasan, Reem; Lohr, Charles E.; Kercher, Kent W.; Norton, James; Sing, Ronald F.; Heniford, B. Todd
June 2003
American Surgeon;Jun2003, Vol. 69 Issue 6, p514
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study is to determine risk factors associated with mortality in surgical patients with vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) infections. The hospitalizations of surgical patients with VRE infections from January 1998 to December 2001 were reviewed. Statistical analysis was performed using the Student's t test, chi square, and Fisher's exact test. Thirty-one surgical patients (male:female, 14:17) with a mean age of 51.9 years (range, 21-83 years) developed VRE infection. Infections included bacteremia (12), urinary tract (11), surgical site (seven), and soft tissue (five) infections and intra-abdominal abscess (one). Nine (29.0 per cent) patients received recent outpatient antibiotics and 20 (64.5 per cent) were on steroids. Fifteen (48.4 per cent) patients were treated with intravenous vancomycin before infection. Twelve (38.1 per cent) patients died with a trend toward advanced age (60.7 vs 46.5 years; P = 0.06). The incidence of VRE infection in kidney transplant patients was 1.8 per cent. Six transplant patients (five kidney and one kidney/ pancreas) developed VRE infections with four deaths. Hypertension (P = 0.04), coronary artery disease (P = 0.02), and the need for intra-arterial pressure monitoring (P = 0.04) were associated with mortality. Isolate location, gender, diabetes, renal dysfunction, respiratory disease, liver disease, and serum albumin were not associated with mortality. Kidney transplant patients have a high incidence of VRE infection. Surgical patients with VRE infections have a high mortality rate. Hypertension and coronary artery disease are risk factors for mortality.


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