Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy for bone and joint infections: An Italian multicenter study

Silvano Esposito, S. Leone, S. Noviello, F. Ianniello, M. Fiore, M. Russo, G. Foti, M. S. Carpentieri, C. Cellesi, G. Zanelli, A. Cellini, C. Girmenia, F. De Lalla, A. Maiello, P. Maio, F. Marranconi, S. Sabbatani, M. Pantaleoni, F. Ghinelli, M. L. SoranzoP. Viganò, T. Re, P. Viale, L. Scudeller, F. Scaglione, V. Vullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the early eighties, the advantages of outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) (reduced costs, no hospitalization trauma in children, no immobilization syndrome in elderly, reduction in nosocomial infections by multiresistant organisms) were identified in the United States, and suitable therapeutic programs were established. Currently, more than 250,000 patients per year are treated according to an OPAT program. In order to understand the different ways of managing OPAT and its results, a National OPAT Registry was set up in 2003 in Italy. Analysis of data concerning osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, prosthetic joint infection and spondylodiskitis, allowed information to be acquired about 239 cases of bone and joint infections, with particular concern to demographics, therapeutic management, clinical response, and possible side effects. Combination therapy was the first-line choice in 66.9% of cases and frequently intravenous antibiotics were combined with oral ones. Teicoplanin (38%) and ceftriaxone (14.7%), whose pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties permit once-a-day administration, were the two top antibiotics chosen; fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin) were the most frequently utilized oral drugs. Clinical success, as well as patients' and doctors' satisfaction with the OPAT regimen was high. Side-effects were mild and occurred in 11% of cases. These data confirm that the management of bone and joint infections in an out-patient setting is suitable, effective and safe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-422
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Bone infections
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Joint infections
  • Levofloxacin
  • OPAT
  • Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy
  • Teicoplanin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Microbiology (medical)


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