Lower respiratory tract infections in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease outpatients with tracheostomy and persistent colonization by P. aeruginosa

M. Lusuardi, A. Capelli, A. Di Stefano, S. Zaccaria, B. Balbi, C. F. Donner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Outpatients with tracheostomy can be managed with a low risk for severe airways infections despite colonization with pathogenic bacteria. No studies have been focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition known for recurrent exacerbations. The aim of our study was to verify whether at follow-up in tracheostomized COPD versus other disease outpatients, persistent P. aeruginosa colonization may influence the rate and treatment of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) or hospital admissions. Thirty-nine outpatients were considered: 24 were affected by COPD (age 66, 54-78 years, mean, range), 15 by restrictive lung disease (RLD) (57, 41-72 years). During an 18-month follow-up the number of LRTIs were recorded. Bacterial. identifications were assessed at baseline and every month for 6 months in bronchial aspirates. The number of LRTI per patient was not significantly different between COPD [37, 1(0-6)] and RLD [18, 1(0-5)], [total, median (range)]. Persistent P. aeruginosa colonized 18 COPD (75%), 12 RLD patients (86%) and was not associated with an increased number of LRTI: 1(0-6) and 1(0-2), respectively. There were no differences in the number of hospital admissions: COPD 0(0-2), RLD 1(0-1), with a significant decrease versus before tracheostomy (P <0.001). In conclusion, the rate of LRTI and hospital admissions in COPD outpatients with chronic tracheostomy was low, similar to non-COPD patients and independent of P. aeruginosa colonization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1210
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003



  • Antibiotics
  • Bacterial colonization
  • COPD
  • LRTI
  • Tracheostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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