Absence of obvious link between supra-therapeutic serum levels of β lactams and clinical toxicity in ICU patients with acute renal failure treated with intermittent hemodialysis
© The Author(s). 2016
Received: 10 June 2016
Accepted: 27 June 2016
Published: 1 August 2016
The Letter to this article has been published in Critical Care 2016 20:350
Early and adequate antibiotic therapy increases the likelihood of survival in intensive care unit (ICU) patients with sepsis . Beta-lactams (BL) are the most frequently prescribed antibiotics because of their broad spectrum and low toxicity . Supra-therapeutic serum levels have been suggested to be associated with clinical toxicity, mainly neurological. In the clinical settings, determining the optimal dosage is not obvious because it should take into account the distribution volume and renal elimination, both being highly variable among septic patients . Consequently, serum levels of BL are unpredictable during acute renal failure (ARF) and renal replacement therapy (RRT).
Antibiotics assessed, thresholds used, and trough serum levels (mg/l)
Upper therapeutic trough levela
Observed trough level median (interquartile range)
We included 108 patients, who developed 180 episodes of sepsis and were sampled 460 times. Their median Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) II was 53 (39–66) points. Seventy-four percent of the patients required vasopressors, and the overall mortality rate in the ICU was 58 %. Piperacillin (25 %), tazobactam (20 %), and cloxacillin (18 %) were the most assayed antibiotics. The distribution of the serum levels was scattered (Table 1). A supra-therapeutic serum level for at least one BL was observed in 96/108 (89 %) patients and 156/180 (86 %) septic events. A level in the highest quartile was observed for at least one BL in 54/108 (50 %) patients and 80/180 (45 %) septic events. Supra-therapeutic serum levels of piperacillin, tazobactam, and cloxacillin were observed in 66, 55, and 31, and were in the highest quartile in 33, 23, and 14 septic events, respectively. Using a univariate logistic marginal regression model to account for the correlation of successive infections in the same patient, we did not observe a statistical link between serum overdose and convulsions (n = 8; odds ratio 1.68 (0.15–18.9); p = 0.67) and mortality (n = 40; odds ratio 1.28 (0.38–4.33); p = 0.69).
Supra-therapeutic serum levels of BL antibiotics are commonly observed in our ICU patients with ARF and RRT. We could not find an association between supra-therapeutic levels and clinical toxicity.
ARF, acute renal failure; BL, beta-lactams; ICU, intensive care unit; RRT, renal replacement therapy
All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
The collection and use of data from the Outcomerea database was approved by the Clermond-Ferrand Hospital Institutional Review Board (CECIC, IRB 5891) and by the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital Ethics Committee, which waived the need for informed consent for patients included in the database.
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