Evidence-based study design for hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia

Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Biomarkers Consortium HABP/VABP Project Teama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: The US Food and Drug Administration solicited evidence-based recommendations to improve guidance for studies of hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia (HABP) and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (VABP). Methods: We analyzed 7 HABP/VABP datasets to explore novel noninferiority study endpoints and designs, focusing on alternatives to all-cause mortality (ACM). Results: ACM at day 28 differed for ventilated HABP (27.8%), VABP (18.0%), and nonventilated HABP (14.5%). A “mortality-plus” (ACM+) composite endpoint was constructed by combining ACM with patient-relevant, infection-related adverse events from the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities toxic/septic shock standardized query. The ACM+ rate was 3-10 percentage points above that of ACM across the studies and treatment groups. Predictors of higher ACM/ACM+ rates included older age and elevated acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II score. Only patients in the nonventilated HABP group were able to report pneumonia symptom changes. Conclusions: If disease groups and patient characteristics in future studies produce an ACM rate so low (<10%-15%) that a fixed noninferiority margin of 10% cannot be justified (requiring an odds ratio analysis), an ACM+ endpoint could lower sample size. Enrichment of studies with patients with a higher severity of illness would increase ACM. Data on symptom resolution in nonventilated HABP support development of a patient-reported outcome instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1536-1544
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • All-cause mortality
  • Hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia
  • Mortality-plus endpoint
  • Ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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