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1.  Vancomycin population pharmacokinetics during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy: a matched cohort study 
Critical Care  2014;18(6):632.
The aim of this study was to describe the population pharmacokinetics of vancomycin in critically ill patients treated with and without extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
We retrospectively reviewed data from critically ill patients treated with ECMO and matched controls who received a continuous infusion of vancomycin (35 mg/kg loading dose over 4 hours followed by a daily infusion adapted to creatinine clearance, CrCl)). The pharmacokinetics of vancomycin were described using non-linear mixed effects modeling.
We compared 11 patients treated with ECMO with 11 well-matched controls. Drug dosing was similar between groups. The median interquartile range (IQR) vancomycin concentrations in ECMO and non-ECMO patients were 51 (28 to 71) versus 45 (37 to 71) mg/L at 4 hours; 23 (16 to 38) versus 29 (21 to 35) mg/L at 12 hours; 20 (12 to 36) versus 23 (17–28) mg/L at 24 hours (ANOVA, P =0.53). Median (ranges) volume of distribution (Vd) was 99.3 (49.1 to 212.3) and 92.3 (22.4 to 149.4) L in ECMO and non-ECMO patients, respectively, and clearance 2.4 (1.7 to 4.9) versus 2.3 (1.8 to 3.6) L/h (not significant). Insufficient drug concentrations (that is drug levels <20 mg/dL) were more common in the ECMO group. The pharmacokinetic model (non-linear mixed effects modeling) was prospectively validated in five additional ECMO-treated patients over a 6-month period. Linear regression analysis comparing the observed concentrations and those predicted using the model showed good correlation (r2 of 0.67; P <0.001).
Vancomycin concentrations were similar between ECMO and non-ECMO patients in the early phase of therapy. ECMO treatment was not associated with significant changes in Vd and drug clearance compared with the control patients.
PMCID: PMC4256896  PMID: 25416535
2.  β-lactam antibiotic concentrations during continuous renal replacement therapy 
Critical Care  2014;18(3):R105.
The use of standard doses of β-lactam antibiotics during continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) may result in inadequate serum concentrations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adequacy of unadjusted drug regimens (i.e., similar to those used in patients with normal renal function) in patients treated with CRRT and the influence of CRRT intensity on drug clearance.
We reviewed data from 50 consecutive adult patients admitted to our Department of Intensive Care in whom routine therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of broad-spectrum β-lactam antibiotics (ceftazidime or cefepime, CEF; piperacillin/tazobactam; TZP; meropenem, MEM) was performed using unadjusted β-lactam antibiotics regimens (CEF = 2 g q8h; TZP = 4 g q6h; MEM = 1 g q8h). Serum drug concentrations were measured twice during the elimination phase by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-UV). We considered therapy was adequate when serum drug concentrations were between 4 and 8 times the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa during optimal periods of time for each drug (≥70% for CEF; ≥ 50% for TZP; ≥ 40% for MEM). Therapy was considered as early (ET) or late (LT) phase if TDM was performed within 48 hours of antibiotic initiation or later on, respectively.
We collected 73 serum samples from 50 patients (age 58 ± 13 years; Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score on admission 21 (17–25)), 35 during ET and 38 during LT. Drug concentrations were above 4 times the MIC in 63 (90%), but above 8 times the MIC in 39 (53%) samples. The proportions of patients with adequate drug concentrations during ET and LT were quite similar. We found a weak but significant correlation between β-lactam antibiotics clearance and CRRT intensity.
In septic patients undergoing CRRT, doses of β-lactam antibiotics similar to those given to patients with normal renal function achieved drug levels above the target threshold in 90% of samples. Nevertheless, 53% of samples were associated with very high drug levels and daily drug regimens may need to be adapted accordingly.
PMCID: PMC4075122  PMID: 24886826
3.  Verocytotoxin-Producing Escherichia coli O128ab:H2 Bacteremia in a 27-Year-Old Male with Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(5):1633-1635.
Verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) strains of serotype O128ab:H2 were isolated from blood and stool of a 27-year-old male presenting diarrhea-associated hemolytic-uremic syndrome complicated by bacteremia. This report once again illustrates the pathogenic potential of a non-O157 VTEC strain carrying a virulence profile previously associated with mild disease.
PMCID: PMC3647934  PMID: 23467596
4.  Case-Control Study of Drug Monitoring of β-Lactams in Obese Critically Ill Patients 
Severe sepsis and septic shock can alter the pharmacokinetics of broad-spectrum β-lactams (meropenem, ceftazidime/cefepime, and piperacillin-tazobactam), resulting in inappropriate serum concentrations. Obesity may further modify the pharmacokinetics of these agents. We reviewed our data on critically ill obese patients (body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2) treated with a broad-spectrum β-lactam in whom therapeutic drug monitoring was performed and compared the data to those obtained in critically nonobese patients (body mass index of <25 kg/m2) to assess whether there were differences in reaching optimal drug concentrations for the treatment of nosocomial infections. Sixty-eight serum levels were obtained from 49 obese patients. There was considerable variability in β-lactam serum concentrations (coefficient of variation of 50% to 92% for the three drugs). Standard drug regimens of β-lactams resulted in insufficient serum concentrations in 32% of the patients and overdosed concentrations in 25%. Continuous renal replacement therapy was identified by multivariable analysis as a risk factor for overdosage and a protective factor for insufficient β-lactam serum concentrations. The serum drug levels from the obese cohort were well matched for age, gender, renal function, and sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score to 68 serum levels measured in 59 nonobese patients. The only difference observed between the two cohorts was in the subgroup of patients treated with meropenem and who were not receiving continuous renal replacement therapy: serum concentrations were lower in the obese cohort. No differences were observed in pharmacokinetic variables between the two groups. Routine therapeutic drug monitoring of β-lactams should be continued in obese critically ill patients.
PMCID: PMC3553684  PMID: 23147743
5.  Optimal Meropenem Concentrations To Treat Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Septic Shock 
A patient with septic shock due to extensively drug resistant (XDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa was cured by optimizing the meropenem (MEM) regimen to obtain at least 40% of the time between two administrations in which drug levels were four times higher than the MIC of the pathogen. As the standard drug dose did not achieve these optimal concentrations, the MEM regimen was progressively increased up to 12 g/day (3 g every 6 h in a 3-h extended infusion), which eventually resulted in sepsis resolution. High MEM dosage may represent a valuable therapeutic option for infection due to multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains, and drug monitoring would allow rapid regimen adjustment in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3318384  PMID: 22290984
6.  Vancomycin Dosing in Critically Ill Patients: Robust Methods for Improved Continuous-Infusion Regimens▿ 
Despite the development of novel antibiotics active against Gram-positive bacteria, vancomycin generally remains the first treatment, although rapidly achieving concentrations associated with maximal efficacy provides an unresolved challenge. The objective of this study was to conduct a population pharmacokinetic analysis of vancomycin in a large population of critically ill patients. This was a retrospective data collection of 206 adult septic critically ill patients who were administered vancomycin as a loading dose followed by continuous infusion. The concentration-versus-time data for vancomycin in serum was analyzed by a nonlinear mixed-effects modeling approach using NONMEM. Monte Carlo simulations were performed using the final covariate model. We found that the best population pharmacokinetic model consisted of a one-compartment linear model with combined proportional and additive residual unknown variability. The volume of distribution of vancomycin (1.5 liters/kg) was described by total body weight and clearance (4.6 liters/h) by 24-hour urinary creatinine clearance (CrCl), normalized to body surface area. Simulation data showed that a 35-mg/kg loading dose was necessary to rapidly achieve vancomycin concentrations of 20 mg/liter. Daily vancomycin requirements were dependent on CrCl, such that a patient with a CrCl of 100 ml/min/1.73 m2 would require at least 35 mg/kg per day by continuous infusion to maintain target concentrations. In conclusion, we have found that higher-than-recommended loading and daily doses of vancomycin seem to be necessary to rapidly achieve therapeutic serum concentrations in these patients.
PMCID: PMC3101407  PMID: 21402850
7.  Recommended β-lactam regimens are inadequate in septic patients treated with continuous renal replacement therapy 
Critical Care  2011;15(3):R137.
Sepsis is responsible for important alterations in the pharmacokinetics of antibiotics. Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), which is commonly used in septic patients, may further contribute to pharmacokinetic changes. Current recommendations for antibiotic doses during CRRT combine data obtained from heterogeneous patient populations in which different CRRT devices and techniques have been used. We studied whether these recommendations met optimal pharmacokinetic criteria for broad-spectrum antibiotic levels in septic shock patients undergoing CRRT.
This open, prospective study enrolled consecutive patients treated with CRRT and receiving either meropenem (MEM), piperacillin-tazobactam (TZP), cefepime (FEP) or ceftazidime (CAZ). Serum concentrations of these antibiotics were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography from samples taken before (t = 0) and 1, 2, 5, and 6 or 12 hours (depending on the β-lactam regimen) after the administration of each antibiotic. Series of measurements were separated into those taken during the early phase (< 48 hours from the first dose) of therapy and those taken later (> 48 hours).
A total of 69 series of serum samples were obtained in 53 patients (MEM, n = 17; TZP, n = 16; FEP, n = 8; CAZ, n = 12). Serum concentrations remained above four times the minimal inhibitory concentration for Pseudomonas spp. for the recommended time in 81% of patients treated with MEM, in 71% with TZP, in 53% with CAZ and in 0% with FEP. Accumulation after 48 hours of treatment was significant only for MEM.
In septic patients receiving CRRT, recommended doses of β-lactams for Pseudomonas aeruginosa are adequate for MEM but not for TZP, FEP and CAZ; for these latter drugs, higher doses and/or extended infusions should be used to optimise serum concentrations.
PMCID: PMC3219006  PMID: 21649882
8.  Amikacin Monotherapy for Sepsis Caused by Panresistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(11):4939-4941.
Two patients with severe sepsis due to panresistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, deteriorating despite therapy with colistin and β-lactams, were cured with a high daily dose (25 to 50 mg/kg) of amikacin to obtain a peak/MIC ratio of at least 8 to 10 (MIC = 16 μg/ml). Concomitant use of continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration (CVVHDF) provided no deterioration in renal function after treatment. High dosage of aminoglycosides combined with CVVHDF may represent a valuable therapeutic option for infection due to multiresistant pathogens.
PMCID: PMC2976156  PMID: 20823287
9.  Insufficient β-lactam concentrations in the early phase of severe sepsis and septic shock 
Critical Care  2010;14(4):R126.
Altered pharmacokinetics (PK) in critically ill patients can result in insufficient serum β-lactam concentrations when standard dosages are administered. Previous studies on β-lactam PK have generally excluded the most severely ill patients, or were conducted during the steady-state period of treatment. The aim of our study was to determine whether the first dose of piperacillin-tazobactam, ceftazidime, cefepime, and meropenem would result in adequate serum drug concentrations in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.
Open, prospective, multicenter study in four Belgian intensive care units. All consecutive patients with a diagnosis of severe sepsis or septic shock, in whom treatment with the study drugs was indicated, were included. Serum concentrations of the antibiotics were determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) before and 1, 1.5, 4.5 and 6 or 8 hours after administration.
80 patients were treated with piperacillin-tazobactam (n = 27), ceftazidime (n = 18), cefepime (n = 19) or meropenem (n = 16). Serum concentrations remained above 4 times the minimal inhibitory concentration (T > 4 × MIC), corresponding to the clinical breakpoint for Pseudomonas aeruginosa defined by the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST), for 57% of the dosage interval for meropenem (target MIC = 8 μg/mL), 45% for ceftazidime (MIC = 32 μg/mL), 34% for cefepime (MIC = 32 μg/mL), and 33% for piperacillin-tazobactam (MIC = 64 μg/mL). The number of patients who attained the target PK profile was 12/16 for meropenem (75%), 5/18 for ceftazidime (28%), 3/19 (16%) for cefepime, and 12/27 (44%) for piperacillin-tazobactam.
Serum concentrations of the antibiotic after the first dose were acceptable only for meropenem. Standard dosage regimens for piperacillin-tazobactam, ceftazidime and cefepime may, therefore, be insufficient to empirically cover less susceptible pathogens in the early phase of severe sepsis and septic shock.
PMCID: PMC2945087  PMID: 20594297
10.  Revisiting the loading dose of amikacin for patients with severe sepsis and septic shock 
Critical Care  2010;14(2):R53.
It has been proposed that doses of amikacin of >15 mg/kg should be used in conditions associated with an increased volume of distribution (Vd), such as severe sepsis and septic shock. The primary aim of this study was to determine whether 25 mg/kg (total body weight) of amikacin is an adequate loading dose for these patients.
This was an open, prospective, multicenter study in four Belgian intensive care units (ICUs). All consecutive patients with a diagnosis of severe sepsis or septic shock, in whom amikacin treatment was indicated, were included in the study.
In 74 patients, serum samples were collected before (t = 0 h) and 1 hour (peak), 1 hour 30 minutes, 4 hours 30 minutes, 8 hours, and 24 hours after the first dose of amikacin. Blood amikacin levels were measured by using a validated fluorescence polarization immunoassay method, and an open two-compartment model with first-order elimination was fitted to concentrations-versus-time data for amikacin (WinNonlin). In 52 (70%) patients, peak serum concentrations were >64 μg/ml, which corresponds to 8 times the clinical minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) breakpoints defined by EUCAST for Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (S<8, R>16 μg/ml). Vd was 0.41 (0.29 to 0.51) L/kg; elimination half-life, 4.6 (3.2 to 7.8) hours; and total clearance, 1.98 (1.28 to 3.54) ml/min/kg. No correlation was found between the amikacin peak and any clinical or hemodynamic variable.
As patients with severe sepsis and septic shock have an increased Vd, a first dose of ≥ 25 mg/kg (total body weight) of amikacin is required to reach therapeutic peak concentrations. However, even with this higher amikacin dose, the peak concentration remained below therapeutic target levels in about one third of these patients. Optimizing aminoglycoside therapy should be achieved by tight serum-concentration monitoring because of the wide interindividual variability of pharmacokinetic abnormalities.
PMCID: PMC2887170  PMID: 20370907
11.  Vancomycin Penetration of Uninfected Pleural Fluid Exudate after Continuous or Intermittent Infusion 
Blood and pleural exudate samples were obtained from 16 patients receiving intermittent or continuous infusions of vancomycin after lung surgery. The areas under the concentration-time curves for blood and pleural exudates were identical for both administration schedules, while continuous infusion allowed the concentrations in pleural exudates to be more sustained (mean concentration, 12 mg/liter).
PMCID: PMC155821  PMID: 12760889
12.  CD40 Ligation Prevents Trypanosoma cruzi Infection through Interleukin-12 Upregulation 
Infection and Immunity  1999;67(4):1929-1934.
Because of the critical role of the CD40-CD40 ligand (CD40L) pathway in the induction and effector phases of immune responses, we investigated the effects of CD40 ligation on the control of Trypanosoma cruzi infection. First, we observed that supernatants of murine spleen cells stimulated by CD40L-transfected 3T3 fibroblasts (3T3-CD40L transfectants) prevent the infection of mouse peritoneal macrophages (MPM) by T. cruzi. This phenomenon depends on de novo production of nitric oxide (NO) as it is prevented by the addition of N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester, a NO synthase inhibitor. NO production requires interleukin (IL)-12-mediated gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) synthesis as demonstrated by inhibition experiments using neutralizing anti-IL-12, anti-IFN-γ, and anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibodies (MAb). We found that an activating anti-CD40 MAb also directly stimulates IFN-γ-activated MPM to produce NO and thereby to control T. cruzi infection. To determine the in vivo relevance of these in vitro findings, mice were injected with 3T3-CD40L transfectants or 3T3 control fibroblasts at the time of T. cruzi inoculation. We observed that in vivo CD40 ligation dramatically reduced both parasitemia and the mortality rate of T. cruzi-infected mice. A reduced parasitemia was still observed when the injection of 3T3-CD40L transfectants was delayed 8 days postinfection. It was abolished by injection of anti-IL-12 MAb. Taken together, these data establish that CD40 ligation facilitates the control of T. cruzi infection through a cascade involving IL-12, IFN-γ, and NO.
PMCID: PMC96548  PMID: 10085038
13.  Penetration of Meropenem in Lung, Bronchial Mucosa, and Pleural Tissues 
Lung, bronchial mucosa, and pleural tissue samples were obtained from 14 patients undergoing lung surgery 1 to 5 h after administration of 1 g of meropenem. The mean (range) peak concentrations of meropenem were 3.9 (0.2 to 8.2), 6.6 (3.0 to 13.3), and 2.8 (0.6 to 7.8) mg/kg of tissue, respectively, exceeding the MICs at which 90% of isolates are inhibited for most respiratory pathogens.
PMCID: PMC89181  PMID: 10049288

Results 1-13 (13)