Application of a modified microbiologic criterion for identifying pediatric ventilator-associated pneumonia

Paulina Mariki, Neil Rellosa, Angela Wratney, David Stockwell, John Berger, Xiaoyan Song, Roberta L. Debiasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a major patient safety goal, but accurate identification of VAP in pediatric patients remains challenging.

Methods We performed a retrospective cohort study to demonstrate feasibility of endotracheal culture and Gram's stain to support VAP diagnosis. Pediatric intensive care unit and cardiac intensive care unit patients with ≥1 endotracheal specimen having growth of ≥1 organism in conjunction with moderate/many polymorphonuclear leukocytes (ie, the modified microbiologic criterion) were included. Medical records were reviewed for presence/absence of clinical and radiographic Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for VAP. Antimicrobial use data were collected before and after culture results were known.

Results Of 102 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 28% (n = 28) also met both clinical and radiographic CDC criteria for VAP (ie, diagnosis of PNU2). An additional 63% (n = 64) met clinical (36%; n = 37) or radiographic (27%; n = 27) criteria, but not both. Ten patients (9%) had neither clinical nor radiographic criteria for VAP. The majority (63%; n = 64) were receiving antibiotics at time of endotracheal specimen collection. Culture identification resulted in altered antimicrobial therapy in 66% of patients (n = 67).

Conclusions Our study demonstrates the feasibility of endotracheal Gram's stain and culture for diagnosis of pediatric VAP that could potentially standardize accurate surveillance and management of pediatric VAP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1079-1083
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Endotracheal cultures
  • Hospital-acquired infection
  • VAP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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