Objectives: Empyemas require aggressive antimicrobial and surgical management. However, the specifics of antimicrobial therapy have not been studied in clinical trials. The present study examines management and outcomes among a cohort of patients with empyema cared for in a tertiary-care referral hospital over a decade. Methods: We retrospectively identified patients hospitalized with empyema from January 2000 through December 2010 at one institution. Patient demographics, laboratory findings, treatments, and patient outcomes were abstracted using a standard form. Data were summarized with standard descriptive statistics. Results: A total of 91 patients were identified. The predominant organisms were viridans group streptococci, which were isolated in 64% of cases with cultures. The median length of hospitalization was 9 days. Length of antimicrobial therapy from time of source control was variable, with a median (interquartile range) duration of 27 (15-31) days. Of note, longer courses of parenteral, but not oral, therapy were associated with fewer cases of clinical failure. Conclusions: This descriptive analysis demonstrated a higher rate of viridans group streptococci than expected. Three weeks of therapy was generally adequate and prevented clinical failure, but further study is needed with a much larger cohort to better define the optimal drug regimen, route, and duration of antimicrobial therapy for empyema.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 The British Infection Association.
- Parapneumonic effusion
- Pleural effusion
- Pleural infection