The Utility of Risk Factors to Define Complicated Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia in a Setting With Low Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus Prevalence

Thomas W. van der Vaart, Jan M. Prins, Abraham Goorhuis, Bregtje A. Lemkes, Kim C. E. Sigaloff, Veroniek Spoorenberg, Cornelis Stijnis, Marc J. M. Bonten, Jan T. M. van der Meer

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Introduction. Recommended duration of antibiotic treatment of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) is frequently based on distinguishing uncomplicated and complicated SAB, and several risk factors at the onset of infection have been proposed to define complicated SAB. Predictive values of risk factors for complicated SAB have not been validated, and consequences of their use on antibiotic prescriptions are unknown. Methods. In a prospective cohort, patients with SAB were categorized as complicated or uncomplicated through adjudication (reference definition). Associations and predictive values of 9 risk factors were determined, compared with the reference definition, as was accuracy of Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) criteria that include 4 risk factors, and the projected consequences of applying IDSA criteria on antibiotic use. Results. Among 490 patients, 296 (60%) had complicated SAB. In multivariable analysis, persistent bacteremia (odds ratio [OR], 6.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.9-12.0), community acquisition of SAB (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.9-4.7) and presence of prosthetic material (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.5-3.6) were associated with complicated SAB. Presence of any of the 4 risk factors in the IDSA definition of complicated SAB had a positive predictive value of 70.9% (95% CI, 65.5-75.9) and a negative predictive value of 57.5% (95% CI, 49.1-64.8). Compared with the reference, IDSA criteria yielded 24 (5%) false-negative and 90 (18%) false-positive classifications of complicated SAB. Median duration of antibiotic treatment of these 90 patients was 16 days (interquartile range, 14-19), all with favorable clinical outcome. Conclusions. Risk factors have low to moderate predictive value to identify complicated SAB and their use may lead to unnecessary prolonged antibiotic use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-854
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024


  • Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia
  • complicated bacteremia
  • risk factors
  • treatment

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