Impact of Respiratory Viral Panel Results on Piperacillin-Tazobactam Use in a Medical Intensive Care Unit: A Single-Center Retrospective Study

Published:September 05, 2022DOI:



      In critically ill patients with acute respiratory infection, antibiotic stewardship can be challenging given the acuity and complexities of such patients, and the associated high mortality. This study determined the impact of respiratory viral panel (RVP) testing on piperacillin-tazobactam (PT) use in patients admitted to a medical intensive care unit (MICU).


      This retrospective chart review used data from adults admitted to a MICU between January 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018, and with findings from at least one RVP available.


      RVP testing was performed on samples from 90 patients admitted to the MICU. RVP was positive in 41% (37/90) of patients, and 53.3% (48/90) received PT during their MICU stay. PT was discontinued in 25.5% (23/90) of patients, 16.2% (6/37) with a positive RVP and 32.1% (17/53) with a negative RVP. Overall mortality was significantly lower in the positive RVP group versus the negative RVP group (odds ratio = 0.28; P = 0.001). In a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model (adjusted for acute kidney injury and culture positivity), the risk for PT discontinuation was significantly less in patients with a positive RVP compared to those with a negative RVP (primary outcome). Overall mortality rate and median length of stay were significantly lower in patients with a positive RVP compared to those in patients with a negative RVP (secondary outcomes). The 30-day hospital readmission rate and the risk for AKI were not significantly different between those with positive versus negative RVP.


      Reasons for these observations are currently unclear, but deserve further exploration in future studies. It is hypothesized that the treating providers were concerned about the presence of concurrent bacterial infections along with the diagnosed viral infections given that the patients were critically ill. This suggests that RVP results did not impact PT-prescribing practices in the MICU, and thus that the routine use of RVP solely for guiding antimicrobial-stewardship practices may not be effective.


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