Oral antimicrobial use in outpatient cystic fibrosis pulmonary exacerbation management: A single-center experience

Elissa Charlotte Briggs, Thuan Nguyen, Michael Abraham Wall, Kelvin David Macdonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cystic fibrosis (CF) pulmonary disease is characterized by intermittent episodes of acute lung symptoms known as 'pulmonary exacerbations'. While exacerbations are classically treated with parenteral antimicrobials, oral antibiotics are often used in 'mild' cases. Objectives: We determined how often management progressed to intravenous (IV) therapy. We also examined multiple courses of oral antimicrobials within one exacerbation, and identified patient factors associated with unsuccessful treatment. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart audit of oral antibiotic use in CF patients, from March 2009 through March 2010, for 'mild' CF exacerbations. Results: Administration of a single vs multiple courses of oral antibiotics for treatment of 'mild' CF exacerbation avoided progression to IV therapy 79.8% and 50.0% of the time, respectively. Overall, oral antibiotics circumvented the need for IV therapy 73.8% of the time. Using multi-variant analysis, we found multiple patient characteristics to be independent risk factors for oral antibiotic failure including a history of pseudomonas infection [odds ratio (OR) 2.13, confidence interval (CI) 1.29-3.54], CF-related diabetes (OR 1.85, CI 1.00-3.41), allergic Bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (OR 3.81, CI 1.38-10.56), low socioeconomic status (OR 1.67, CI 1.04-2.67), and calculated baseline forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV 1) <75% of predicted prior to an acute exacerbation (OR 1.93, CI 1.20-3.08). Decline in FEV 1>10%, weight for age, body mass index, distance from the CF center and gender were not significant. Conclusion: Our observations suggest that one course of oral antimicrobials is frequently effective in outpatient CF pulmonary exacerbations but exacerbations requiring more than one course of oral antibiotics are likely to require IV therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Antibiotics
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Exacerbation
  • Pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Oral antimicrobial use in outpatient cystic fibrosis pulmonary exacerbation management: A single-center experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this