The aim of this multicentre randomised trial was to determine whether it was possible to predict grampositive bacteraemia, and whether the empirical use of vancomycin would lead to reduced morbidity and mortality. 35 of 113 patients (31%; confidence interval, CI 8.5), who presented with a skin or soft tissue infection and had received empirical vancomycin in addition to either ceftazidime or piperacillin-tobramycin, had initial bacteraemia with a single gram-positive bacterium compared with 135 of the 784 (17%; CI 2.6), who presented with another infection and who had been given ceftazidime or piperacillin-tobramycin without vancomycin (P < 0.001). Empirical vancomycin resulted in a higher rate of eradication (P = 0.033, relative risk 1.2), but not a better clinical outcome and was associated with more toxicity (P = 0.042, relative risk 1.6). Irrespective of the initial treatment regimen, fever lasted an average of 8 days, the empirical regimen was modified in more than 50% of cases and mortality attributed to gram-positive infection was less than 2%. Incorporating vancomycin in the initial empirical antibiotic regimen for febrile neutropenic patients does not appear necessary, even for skin and soft tissue infections associated with gram-positive bacteraemia.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VA83900019
View details for PubMedID 8869095