Background: Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (HABP and VABP, respectively) are important for the evaluation of new antimicrobials. However, the heterogeneity in endpoints used in RCTs evaluating treatment of HABP/VABP may puzzle clinicians. The aim of this work was to reach a consensus on clinical endpoints to consider in future clinical trials evaluating antimicrobial treatment efficacy for HABP/VABP. Methods: Twenty-six international experts from intensive care, infectious diseases, and the pharmaceutical industry were polled using the Delphi method. Results: The panel recommended a hierarchical composite endpoint including, by priority order, (1) survival at day 28, (2) mechanical ventilation-free days through day 28, and (3) clinical cure between study days 7 and 10 for VABP; and (1) survival (day 28) and (2) clinical cure (days 7-10) for HABP. Clinical cure was defined as the combination of resolution of signs and symptoms present at enrollment and improvement or lack of progression of radiological signs. More than 70% of the experts agreed to assess survival and mechanical ventilation-free days though day 28, and clinical cure between day 7 and day 10 after treatment initiation. Finally, the hierarchical order of endpoint components was reached after 3 Delphi rounds (72% agreement). Conclusions: We provide a multinational expert consensus on separate hierarchical composite endpoints for VABP and HABP, and on a definition of clinical cure that could be considered for use in future HABP/VABP clinical trials.
- Delphi method
- clinical cure
- hierarchical composite endpoint
- hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia
- multinational consensus