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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Aug;60(2):247-57. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

Efficacy and safety of aminoglycoside monotherapy: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine E, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petah-Tikva 49100, Israel.



This study sought to compare the efficacy and adverse effects of any aminoglycoside as a single antibiotic with other antibiotics for the treatment of patients with infection.


Systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis. We searched for randomized controlled trials comparing the efficacy of single aminoglycoside antibiotic treatment with one or more non-aminoglycoside antibiotic for patients with infection in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, databases of ongoing trials and conference proceedings. Two reviewers assessed trial eligibility, quality and extracted data. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for dichotomous data.


The search yielded 37 trials of which 26 included patients with urinary tract infection. Aminoglycosides were equally effective as comparators in the analysis of the primary outcomes, all-cause mortality (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.68, 1.81, 9 trials, 503 patients) and treatment failure (RR 1.10, 95% CI 0.96, 1.27, 32 trials, 1890 patients). Aminoglycosides were associated with a significantly higher rate of bacteriological failure at end of therapy (RR 1.44, 95% CI 1.21, 1.72, 27 trials, 1668 patients). Subgroup analyses according to quality of trial, type of antibiotics, source of infection and rate of clinical sepsis did not alter the outcomes. Less adverse effects in total but more nephrotoxic effects were observed in patients treated with aminoglycosides.


The present data support the use of aminoglycosides for urinary tract infections. The paucity of trials including patients with sepsis or reporting on mortality precludes firm recommendations for patients with infections other than of the urinary tract.

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