Antibiotic Therapy for Preventing Infections in People With Acute Stroke
Infection is a common complication after stroke, affecting between 15% and 30% of the patients. Most common are pneumonia and urinary tract infections. Different studies found that the occurrence of a poststroke infection is associated with poor functional outcome and mortality. Whether functional outcome in patients with acute stroke can be improved by preventive antibiotic therapy remained uncertain.
In the former version of this meta-analysis (2012), we showed that preventive antibiotics did decrease poststroke infection risk; however, the effect on functional outcome remained uncertain because the included studies were rather small and heterogeneous. Large phase-3 randomized controlled trials were needed. Since 2012, 3 large trials were finished, warranting an update of this meta-analysis.1
We assessed whether preventive antibiotics in ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke:
Reduce the risk of a poor functional outcome (dependency or death);
Reduce the overall infection rate;