, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 211–214

Why is antimicrobial de-escalation under-prescribed for urinary tract infections?

  • E. Duchêne
  • E. Montassier
  • D. Boutoille
  • J. Caillon
  • G. Potel
  • E. Batard
Brief Report



To assess the frequency of de-escalation in inpatients treated for community-acquired urinary tract infection and the frequency of conditions legitimating not de-escalating therapy.


A retrospective study of inpatients (age >15 years) at a large academic hospital who were empirically treated for urinary tract infections due to Escherichia coli susceptible to at least one of the following antibacterial agents: amoxicillin, co-amoxiclav, and cotrimoxazole. De-escalation was defined as the replacement of the empirical broad-spectrum therapy by amoxicillin, co-amoxiclav, or cotrimoxazole.


Eighty patients were included. De-escalation was prescribed for 32 of 69 patients for whom it was possible from both a bacteriological and clinical point of view (46 %, 95 % CI, 34–59 %). Initial treatment was switched to amoxicillin (n = 21), co-amoxiclav (n = 2), or cotrimoxazole (n = 8). Thirteen conditions justifying not de-escalating antibacterial therapy were detected in 11 of 48 patients who were not de-escalated (23 %, 95 % CI, 12–37 %): shock, n = 5; renal abscess, n = 1; obstructive uropathy, n = 4; bacterial resistance or clinical contraindication to both cotrimoxazole and β-lactams, n = 3.


De-escalation is under-prescribed for urinary tract infections. Omission of de-escalation is seldom legitimate. Interventions aiming to de-escalate antibacterial therapy for UTIs should be actively implemented.


de-escalation Escherichia coli Urinary tract infection Amoxicillin Co-amoxiclav Cotrimoxazole 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Duchêne
    • 1
  • E. Montassier
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Boutoille
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Caillon
    • 2
    • 4
  • G. Potel
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Batard
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Emergency DepartmentNantes University HospitalNantesFrance
  2. 2.Faculté de MédecineUniversité de Nantes, EA3826 Thérapeutiques Cliniques et Expérimentales des InfectionsNantesFrance
  3. 3.Infectious Diseases DepartmentNantes University HospitalNantesFrance
  4. 4.Microbiology DepartmentNantes University HospitalNantesFrance

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