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      Meropenem and piperacillin/tazobactam prescribing in critically ill patients: does augmented renal clearance affect pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic target attainment when extended infusions are used?

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          Correct antibiotic dosing remains a challenge for the clinician. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of augmented renal clearance on pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic target attainment in critically ill patients receiving meropenem or piperacillin/tazobactam, administered as an extended infusion.


          This was a prospective, observational, pharmacokinetic study executed at the medical and surgical intensive care unit at a large academic medical center. Elegible patients were adult patients without renal dysfunction receiving meropenem or piperacillin/tazobactam as an extended infusion. Serial blood samples were collected to describe the antibiotic pharmacokinetics. Urine samples were taken from a 24-hour collection to measure creatinine clearance. Relevant data were drawn from the electronic patient file and the intensive care information system.


          We obtained data from 61 patients and observed extensive pharmacokinetic variability. Forty-eight percent of the patients did not achieve the desired pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic target (100% fT >MIC), of which almost 80% had a measured creatinine clearance >130 mL/min. Multivariate logistic regression demonstrated that high creatinine clearance was an independent predictor of not achieving the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic target. Seven out of nineteen patients (37%) displaying a creatinine clearance >130 mL/min did not achieve the minimum pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic target of 50% fT >MIC.


          In this large patient cohort, we observed significant variability in pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic target attainment in critically ill patients. A large proportion of the patients without renal dysfunction, most of whom displayed a creatinine clearance >130 mL/min, did not achieve the desired pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic target, even with the use of alternative administration methods. Consequently, these patients may be at risk for treatment failure without dose up-titration.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Pharmacokinetic issues for antibiotics in the critically ill patient.

          To discuss the altered pharmacokinetic properties of selected antibiotics in critically ill patients and to develop basic dose adjustment principles for this patient population. PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane-Controlled Trial Register. Relevant papers that reported pharmacokinetics of selected antibiotic classes in critically ill patients and antibiotic pharmacodynamic properties were reviewed. Antibiotics and/or antibiotic classes reviewed included aminoglycosides, beta-lactams (including carbapenems), glycopeptides, fluoroquinolones, tigecycline, linezolid, lincosamides, and colistin. Antibiotics can be broadly categorized according to their solubility characteristics which can, in turn, help describe possible altered pharmacokinetics that can be caused by the pathophysiological changes common to critical illness. Hydrophilic antibiotics (e.g., aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, glycopeptides, and colistin) are mostly affected with the pathphysiological changes observed in critically ill patients with increased volumes of distribution and altered drug clearance (related to changes in creatinine clearance). Lipophilic antibiotics (e.g., fluoroquinolones, macrolides, tigecycline, and lincosamides) have lesser volume of distribution alterations, but may develop altered drug clearances. Using antibiotic pharmacodynamic bacterial kill characteristics, altered dosing regimens can be devised that also account for such pharmacokinetic changes. Knowledge of antibiotic pharmacodynamic properties and the potential altered antibiotic pharmacokinetics in critically ill patients can allow the intensivist to develop individualized dosing regimens. Specifically, for renally cleared drugs, measured creatinine clearance can be used to drive many dose adjustments. Maximizing clinical outcomes and minimizing antibiotic resistance using individualized doses may be best achieved with therapeutic drug monitoring.
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            Evaluation of area under the inhibitory curve (AUIC) and time above the minimum inhibitory concentration (T>MIC) as predictors of outcome for cefepime and ceftazidime in serious bacterial infections.

            The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship of the predicted pharmacodynamic parameters 24-h area under the inhibitory curve (AUIC=area under the concentration-time curve for 24h of dosing/minimum inhibitory concentration (AUC0-24/MIC) and time above the minimum inhibitory concentration (T>MIC) with clinical and microbiological outcomes in patients with bacteraemia and sepsis treated with cefepime or ceftazidime. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters were derived for 76 of 107 patients enrolled in two prospective, randomised, clinical trials comparing cefepime with ceftazidime for the treatment of sepsis with bacteraemia, lower respiratory tract infection or complicated urinary tract infection. The relationships between the pharmacodynamic parameters and outcomes were examined. Whilst no significant differences in clinical outcomes were observed between cefepime and ceftazidime, there were significant differences in the pharmacodynamic analysis. Patients with an AUIC> or =250 had significantly greater clinical cure (79% vs. 33%; P=0.002) and bacteriological eradication (96% vs. 44%; P MIC of 100% had significantly greater clinical cure (82% vs. 33%; P=0.002) and bacteriological eradication (97% vs. 44%; P MIC of MIC was <100%.
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              Subtherapeutic initial β-lactam concentrations in select critically ill patients: association between augmented renal clearance and low trough drug concentrations.

              β-Lactams are routinely used as empirical therapy in critical illness, with extended concentrations above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the infecting organism required for effective treatment. Changes in renal function in this setting can significantly impact the probability of achieving such targets. Analysis was made of trough plasma drug concentrations obtained via therapeutic drug monitoring, compared with renal function, in critically ill patients receiving empirical β-lactam therapy. Drug concentrations were measured by means of high-performance liquid chromatography and corrected for protein binding. Therapeutic levels were defined as greater than or equal to MIC and greater than or equal to four times MIC (maximum bacterial eradication), respectively. Renal function was assessed by means of an 8-h creatinine clearance (CLCR). Fifty-two concurrent trough concentrations and CLCR measures were used in analysis. Piperacillin was the most frequent β-lactam prescribed (48%), whereas empirical cover and Staphylococcus species were the most common indications for therapy (62%). Most patients were mechanically ventilated on the day of study (85%), although only 25% were receiving vasopressors. In only 58% (n = 30) was the trough drug concentration greater than or equal to MIC, falling to 31% (n = 16) when using four times MIC as the target. CLCR values ≥ 130 mL/min/1.73 m2 were associated with trough concentrations less than MIC in 82% (P < .001) and less than four times MIC in 72% (P < .001). CLCR remained a significant predictor of subtherapeutic concentrations in multivariate analysis. Elevated CLCR appears to be an important predictor of subtherapeutic β-lactam concentrations and suggests an important role in identifying such patients in the ICU.

                Author and article information

                Crit Care
                Crit Care
                Critical Care
                BioMed Central
                3 May 2013
                : 17
                : 3
                : R84
                [1 ]Department of Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology & Department of Critical Care Medicine, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, Ghent, 9000, Belgium
                [2 ]Department of Critical Care Medicine, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, Ghent, 9000, Belgium
                [3 ]Burns Trauma and Critical Care Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia
                [4 ]Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, Ghent, 9000, Belgium
                Copyright © 2013 Carlier et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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