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How good are clinicians in predicting the presence of Pseudomonas spp. in diabetic foot infections? A prospective clinical evaluation


Uçkay, Ilker; Holy, D; Schöni, Madlaina; Waibel, F W A; Trache, T; Burkhard, Jan; Böni, Thomas; Lipsky, B A; Berli, M C (2021). How good are clinicians in predicting the presence of Pseudomonas spp. in diabetic foot infections? A prospective clinical evaluation. Endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, 4(2):Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Introduction

The most frequently prescribed empirical antibiotic agents for mild and moderate diabetic foot infections (DFIs) are amino‐penicillins and second‐generation cephalosporins that do not cover Pseudomonas spp. Many clinicians believe they can predict the involvement of Pseudomonas in a DFI by visual and/or olfactory clues, but no data support this assertion.
Methods

In this prospective observational study, we separately asked 13 experienced (median 11 years) healthcare workers whether they thought the Pseudomonas spp. would be implicated in the DFI. Their predictions were compared with the results of cultures of deep/intraoperative specimens and/or the clinical remission of DFI achieved with antibiotic agents that did not cover Pseudomonas.
Results

Among 221 DFI episodes in 88 individual patients, intraoperative tissue cultures grew Pseudomonas in 22 cases (10%, including six bone samples). The presence of Pseudomonas was correctly predicted with a sensitivity of 0.32, specificity of 0.84, positive predictive value of 0.18 and negative predictive value 0.92. Despite two feedbacks of the interim results and a 2‐year period, the clinicians' predictive performance did not improve.
Conclusion

The combined visual and olfactory performance of experienced clinicians in predicting the presence of Pseudomonas in a DFI was moderate, with better specificity than sensitivity, and did not improve over time. Further investigations are needed to determine whether clinicians should use a negative prediction of the presence of Pseudomonas in a DFI, especially in settings with a high prevalence of pseudomonal DFIs.

Abstract

Introduction

The most frequently prescribed empirical antibiotic agents for mild and moderate diabetic foot infections (DFIs) are amino‐penicillins and second‐generation cephalosporins that do not cover Pseudomonas spp. Many clinicians believe they can predict the involvement of Pseudomonas in a DFI by visual and/or olfactory clues, but no data support this assertion.
Methods

In this prospective observational study, we separately asked 13 experienced (median 11 years) healthcare workers whether they thought the Pseudomonas spp. would be implicated in the DFI. Their predictions were compared with the results of cultures of deep/intraoperative specimens and/or the clinical remission of DFI achieved with antibiotic agents that did not cover Pseudomonas.
Results

Among 221 DFI episodes in 88 individual patients, intraoperative tissue cultures grew Pseudomonas in 22 cases (10%, including six bone samples). The presence of Pseudomonas was correctly predicted with a sensitivity of 0.32, specificity of 0.84, positive predictive value of 0.18 and negative predictive value 0.92. Despite two feedbacks of the interim results and a 2‐year period, the clinicians' predictive performance did not improve.
Conclusion

The combined visual and olfactory performance of experienced clinicians in predicting the presence of Pseudomonas in a DFI was moderate, with better specificity than sensitivity, and did not improve over time. Further investigations are needed to determine whether clinicians should use a negative prediction of the presence of Pseudomonas in a DFI, especially in settings with a high prevalence of pseudomonal DFIs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Language:English
Date:1 April 2021
Deposited On:09 Mar 2021 10:51
Last Modified:09 Apr 2021 01:11
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:2398-9238
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/edm2.225

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