Phenotypic Features of Pediatric Bronchiectasis Exacerbations Associated With Symptom Resolution After 14 Days of Oral Antibiotic Treatment

Vikas Goyal, Stephanie T. Yerkovich, Keith Grimwood, Julie M. Marchant, Catherine A. Byrnes, Ian Brent Masters, Anne B. Chang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Respiratory exacerbations in children and adolescents with bronchiectasis are treated with antibiotics. However, antibiotics can have variable interindividual effects when treating exacerbations. Research Question: Can phenotypic features associated with symptom resolution after a 14-day course of oral antibiotics for a nonsevere exacerbation of bronchiectasis be identified? Study Design and Methods: Combining data from two multicenter randomized controlled trials, we identified 217 children with bronchiectasis assigned to at least 14 days of oral antibiotics to treat nonsevere (nonhospitalized) exacerbations. Univariable and then multivariable logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with symptom resolution within 14 days of commencing antibiotics. Identified associations were re-evaluated by mediation analysis. Results: Of the 217 study participants (52% male patients), 41% were Indigenous (Australian First Nations, New Zealand Māori, or Pacific Islander). The median age was 6.6 years (interquartile range, 4.0-10.1 years). By day 14, symptoms had resolved in 130 children (responders), but persisted in the remaining 87 children (nonresponders). Multivariable analysis found those who were Indigenous (adjusted OR [AOR], 3.59; 95% CI, 1.35-9.54) or showed new abnormal auscultatory findings (AOR, 3.85; 95% CI, 1.56-9.52) were more likely to be responders, whereas those with multiple bronchiectatic lobes at diagnosis (AOR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.46-0.95) or higher cough scores when starting exacerbation treatment (AOR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.34-0.90) were more likely to be nonresponders. Detecting a respiratory virus at the beginning of an exacerbation was not associated with antibiotic failure at 14 days. Interpretation: Children with Indigenous ethnicity, milder bronchiectasis, mild exacerbations (low reported cough scores), or new abnormal auscultatory signs are more likely to respond to appropriate oral antibiotics than those without these features. These patient and exacerbation phenotypes may assist clinical management and development of biomarkers to identify those whose symptoms are more likely to resolve after 14 days of oral antibiotics. Trial Registry: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry; Nos.: ACTRN12612000011886 and ACTRN12612000010897; URL:

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1378-1386
    Number of pages9
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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