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[Serum level-adjusted dosage of once-daily aminoglycoside therapy in critical illness: results of a prospective study].

OBJECTIVE: In critically ill patients, the adjustment of target peak and trough levels of tobramycin was investigated because aminoglycoside pharmacokinetics can be changed by multiple influences. Sufficient but not too high peak serum concentrations and low trough levels, however, should be achieved to ensure a therapeutic effect and to minimize toxicity.

METHODS: 70 critically ill patients of 51 +/- 18 years were monitored daily during their aminoglycoside treatment on the intensive care unit targeting a peak of about 12 micrograms/ml 30 minutes after infusion and a trough level below 1 to 2 micrograms/ml. Dose recommendations were given daily, taking into consideration serum levels, dose predictions (Bayesian method, ABBOTTBASE), creatinine clearance and clinical findings. Creatinine clearance was estimated according to the Cockcroft-Gault-formula as well as directly by the urine collection method.

RESULTS: The standardized initial dose of 400 mg tobramycin led to average peak serum levels of 14.2 +/- 3.9 micrograms/ml in the patients with an apparent distribution volume of 0.345 +/- 0.074 L/kg. In 95% of the patients, the initial peak was higher than 8.5 micrograms/ml; levels higher than 20 micrograms/ml were observed in 7%, extremely low concentrations (below 5 micrograms/ml) in 2%. With individually adjusted doses between 160 and 560 mg, a mean peak of 11.5 +/- 2.7 micrograms/ml was measured subsequently. The levels amounted to 96 +/- 23% of the predicted values, deviations greater than 50% occurred in 5%. The target trough level was achieved in 99%, in less than 3% the dosing interval was extended up to 72 hours. A tobramycin clearance below 80 ml/min/1.73 m2 was associated with average 80% and 33% higher creatinine clearance values according to the Cockcroft-method and the direct method, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Target peak and trough aminoglycoside levels are adjustable even in critically ill patients. Reduced tobramycin clearance can be associated with normal creatinine clearance. Assuming an exact methodology, a reduced "direct" creatinine clearance, however, indicates a reduced drug clearance.

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