Article open access publication

Penicillin treatment for patients with Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Denmark: a retrospective cohort study

BMC Pulmonary Medicine, Springer Nature, ISSN 1471-2466

Volume 17, 1, 2017

DOI:10.1186/s12890-017-0404-8, Dimensions: pub.1084954358, PMC: PMC5397671, PMID: 28427381,



  1. (1) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  2. (2) Nordsjællands Hospital, grid.414092.a, Capital Region
  3. (3) Hvidovre Hospital, grid.411905.8, Capital Region
  4. (4) Center for Quality, Region of Southern Denmark, P.V. Tuxensvej 3-5, 5500, Middelfart, Denmark
  5. (5) University of Southern Denmark, grid.10825.3e, SDU
  6. (6) Hannover Medical School, grid.10423.34
  7. (7) Maastricht University Medical Centre, grid.412966.e








BACKGROUND: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a severe infection, with high mortality. Antibiotic strategies for CAP differ across Europe. The objective of the study was to describe the epidemiology of CAP in Denmark and evaluate the prognosis of patients empirically treated with penicillin-G/V monotherapy. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study including hospitalized patients with x-ray confirmed CAP. We calculated the population-based incidence, reviewed types of empiric antibiotics and duration of antibiotic treatment. We evaluated the association between mortality and treatment with empiric penicillin-G/V using logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: We included 1320 patients. The incidence of hospitalized CAP was 3.1/1000 inhabitants. Median age was 71 years (IQR; 58-81) and in-hospital mortality was 8%. Median duration of antibiotic treatment was 10 days (IQR; 8-12). In total 45% were treated with penicillin-G/V as empiric monotherapy and they did not have a higher mortality compared to patients treated with broader-spectrum antibiotics (OR 0.92, CI 95% 0.55-1.53). CONCLUSION: The duration of treatment exceeded recommendations in European guidelines. Empiric monotherapy with penicillin-G/V was commonly used and not associated with increased mortality in patients with mild to moderate pneumonia. Our results are in agreement with current conservative antibiotic strategy as outlined in the Danish guidelines.

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