Pneumonia in term neonates: Laboratory studies and duration of antibiotic therapy

William D. Engle, Gregory L. Jackson, Dorothy M. Sendelbach, Elizabeth K. Stehel, Diane M. Ford, Kathleen M. McHugh, Margienetta R. Norris, Debra A. Vedro, Sithembiso Velaphi, Ian C. Michelow, Kurt D. Olsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: To compare 2 days of antibiotic therapy (AT) to 4 days of AT in neonates with pneumonia and to assess the usefulness of neutrophil values (NV), C-reactive protein (CRP), and procalcitonin (PCT) in this population. Design: The study population consisted of consecutive, eligible term neonates begun on AT for suspected pneumonia. Of 51 neonates, 26 qualified for randomization (14, 2-day group; 12, 4-day group). NV were obtained with the initial evaluation and 12 and 24 hours later. CRP and PCT were obtained 12 and 48 hours after the initial evaluation. Results: None of the 12 neonates in the 4-day group developed recurrent respiratory symptoms. Three of the 14 neonates randomized to the 2-day group had recurrence of symptoms, resulting in study termination. NV, CRP, and PCT were similar in the 2- and 4-day groups. In the three neonates who developed respiratory symptoms, all absolute total neutrophil values and five out of nine absolute total immature neutrophil values were abnormal. However, all immature:total neutrophil values were normal, and CRP was strikingly elevated in only one neonate; only one of six PCT values was abnormal. In a secondary analysis of all 51 study neonates, CRP and PCT did not provide additional benefit over NV in differentiating neonates with pneumonia. Conclusions: Four days of AT appears to be adequate for selected term neonates with pneumonia; however, 2 days of AT appears to be inadequate for this population. Relative to NV, CRP and PCT appear to have a limited role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-377
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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