Ventilator-associated pneumonia diagnosis: a prioritization exercise based on multi-criteria decision analysis

João Ferreira-Coimbra, Carmen Ardanuy, Emili Diaz, Marc Leone, Gennaro De Pascale, Pedro Póvoa, Cristina Prat-Aymerich, Ricardo Serrano-Garcia, Jordi Solé-Violan, Rafael Zaragoza, Jordi Rello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim was to provide global experts ranking on priorities in diagnostic tools for VAP in clinical practice. A multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) was performed to identify diagnosis tools for VAP diagnosis. Priority factors were identified after literature review. An international, multidisciplinary expert panel reviewed variables and ranked diagnostic tools. Experts from ten European hospitals participated. Regarding bedside clinical practices, seven required chest X-ray use in all patients, whereas six reported the use of blood cultures and endotracheal aspirate in all patients. Invasive techniques were routinely performed in seven sites. CRP, PCT, and Gram stains were performed in all patients by 5, 2, and 8, respectively. Impact on patient outcomes, safety, and impact on the decision to start antibiotic therapy were ranked as the top three relevant concerns (7.7/10, 7/10, and 6.9/10, respectively). Chest X-ray was ranked as the most important imaging technique to diagnose VAP (score 251.7). Apart from blood cultures, endotracheal aspirate culture was identified as the main collection method for the microbiological testing (scores of 274.8 and 246.8, respectively). Mini-BAL was the preferred invasive technique with a score of 208. Top three biomarkers were CRP (score 184.3), PCT (181.3), and WBC (166.4). Gram stain (192.5) was prioritized among laboratory diagnostic techniques. Using MCDA, it is recommended to perform a combination of diagnostic techniques including images (chest X-ray), culture of clinical specimens (blood cultures and endotracheal aspirate), and biomarkers (CRP or PCT) for VAP diagnosis at the bedside. Gram stain was ranked as the preferred laboratory technique.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 25 2019


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