Tolerance of vancomycin for surgical prophylaxis in patients undergoing cardiac surgery and incidence of vancomycin-resistant enterococcus colonization

Sumesh Kachroo, Thanh Dao, Firas Zabaneh, Margaret Reiter, Mark T Larocco, Layne O Gentry, Kevin W Garey
Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2006, 40 (3): 381-5

BACKGROUND: In 2001, vancomycin replaced cefuroxime for antibiotic prophylaxis in patients undergoing cardiac surgery at our institution due to high rates of surgical site infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. However, few data supported the use of vancomycin for surgical prophylaxis.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the tolerance of vancomycin for antibiotic prophylaxis and incidence of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) in cardiac surgery patients.

METHODS: In 2 separate studies, we assessed the adverse effects in patients given perioperative vancomycin (study 1) and the incidence of VRE in patients given perioperative vancomycin (study 2). Study 1 was a prospective cohort study of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or valve replacement surgery given vancomycin (1 dose preoperatively/2 doses postoperatively) for antibiotic prophylaxis between October 2003 and December 2004. Patients were assessed for tolerance to the antibiotic regimen. In study 2, cardiac surgery patients receiving perioperative vancomycin were screened for VRE before therapy and at day 7 of hospitalization. VRE was detected using standard microbiologic procedures.

RESULTS: In study 1, 1161 patients (CABG = 75%; valve = 19%; both = 6%) were evaluated. All patients but one (99.9%) were prescribed preoperative vancomycin. Therapy was changed for 34 (2.9%) patients, of which 20 changes were due to physician preference for another antibiotic. The only toxicity that required a change in the vancomycin regimen was red man's syndrome, which was experienced by 9 (0.8%) patients. Four patients did not receive a second postoperative dose due to prior renal insufficiency. Patients were most commonly switched to cefuroxime (n = 26), linezolid (n = 2), cefepime (n = 2), gatifloxacin, cefazolin, levofloxacin, or ceftriaxone (n = 1, each). In study 2, 100 patients were screened for the emergence of VRE colonization. No patient was VRE positive at baseline and 4 (4%) were positive at day 7.

CONCLUSIONS: Surgical antibiotic prophylaxis with vancomycin was reasonably well tolerated in CABG and valve replacement surgery, with a 4% incidence of VRE colonization.


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