Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP): An impossible diagnosis? Call for a pragmatic approach

M. Langer, E. A. Haeusler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many years after the introduction of the protected specimen brush (PSB) by Wimberley et al. as a tool to diagnose ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP), new sampling techniques have increased the controversy concerning the diagnosis of VAP. Agreement exists only on the high sensibility and low specificity of the clinical symptoms combined with imaging data. However, sampling methods, qualitative/quantitative microbiological evaluation and the value of "markers" still appear to be unresolved issues. Because a proven diagnosis is very rare, a more pragmatic approach to VAP diagnosis seems necessary. More specifically the questions we must focus on include the following "Which patients with possible pneumonia or lower respiratory infection require antibiotic treatment ?" and "In which patients with possible/suspected VAP is empiric treatment not immediately necessary and for which of these patients can empiric treatment be limited or discontinued?". Minerva Medica Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-590
Number of pages7
JournalMinerva Anestesiologica
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Cross infection
  • Diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, ventilator-associated
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP): An impossible diagnosis? Call for a pragmatic approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this