Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Crit Care Med


Introduction: Gram-negative infections including bacteremia are a major cause of inpatient mortality. Optimizing management is key to improving outcomes. Beta-lactams exhibit optimal antibacterial effects based on the time free concentrations exceed an organism’s minimum inhibitory concentration. Limited data exists assessing outcomes using beta-lactams as intravenous push (IVP) compared to intravenous piggyback (IVPB) in serious infections. This study’s purpose was to compare safety and efficacy of cefepime administered IVP versus IVPB in gram-negative bacteremia.

Methods: This was an IRB-approved, retrospective cohort of patients hospitalized January 2014 to December 2021 and administered cefepime for >48 hours for gram-negative bacteremia involving Pseudomonas aeruginosa or AmpC beta-lactamase producing bacteria. Two groups were included: one of patients who received cefepime IVPB and the second of patients who received cefepime IVP. The primary outcome was a desirability of outcome ranking (DOOR) on a five-point ordinal scale including clinical cure (no recurrent bacteremia of initial pathogen, antibiotic escalation, or 30-day in-hospital mortality) and neurologic adverse effects during cefepime treatment up to 30 days inpatient or at discharge. Secondary outcomes included antibiotic escalation, time to defervescence, vasopressor use, and in-hospital mortality. A sample of 127 patients per group provided 80% power. Data was analyzed using measures of central tendency and variability, chi-square, student’s T test, and Mann-Whitney U.

Results: A total 254 patients were included with 127 per group. DOOR with clinical cure was similar between the IVPB and IVP groups (105 (82.7%) vs. 104 (81.9%); P=0.656). Escalation of therapy was the most common reason for clinical failure in both the IVPB and IVP groups (17 (13.4%) vs. 18 (14.2%); P=0.856). More patients in the IVP group required vasopressors (13 (10.2%) vs. 28 (22.0%); P=0.011). No difference was found in time to defervescence or in-hospital mortality.

Conclusions: When compared to cefepime IVPB in gram-negative bacteremia, treatment with IVP showed no significant difference in instances of clinical cure or adverse effects. Further research in a more severely ill population is needed to evaluate safety and efficacy of cefepime IVPB versus IVP.





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