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The Performance of Direct Disk Diffusion for Community Acquired Bacteremia due to Gram-Negative Bacilli and Its Impact on Physician Treatment Decisions
Background: Direct disk diffusion susceptibility testing provides faster results than standard microtitre susceptibility. The direct result may impact patient outcome in sepsis if it is accurate and if physicians use the information to promptly and appropriately change antibiotic treatment. Objective: To compare the performance of direct disk diffusion with standard susceptibility and to consider physician decisions in response to these early results, for community acquired bacteremia with Gram-negative Bacilli. Methods: Retrospective observational study of all positive blood cultures with Gram-negative Bacilli, collected over one year. Physician antibiotic treatment decisions were assessed by an infectious diseases physician based on information available to the physician at the time of the decision. Results: 89 bottles growing Gram-negative Bacilli were included in the analysis. Direct disk diffusion agreement with standard susceptibility varied widely. In 47 cases (52.8%), the physician should have changed to a narrower spectrum but did not, in 18 cases (20.2%), the physician correctly narrowed from appropriate broad coverage, and in 8 cases (9.0%), the empiric therapy was correct. Discussion: Because inoculum is not standardized, direct susceptibility results do not agree with standard susceptibility results for all drugs. Physicians do not act on direct susceptibility results. Conclusion: Direct susceptibility should be discontinued in clinical microbiology laboratories.
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