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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Nov;78(5):1022-34. doi: 10.1111/bcp.12435.

Population pharmacokinetics of imipenem in critically ill patients with suspected ventilator-associated pneumonia and evaluation of dosage regimens.

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AP-HP, Hop Bichat, Biostatistics Department, Paris, France; IAME, UMR 1137, Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, F-75018, Paris, France; IAME, UMR 1137, INSERM, F-75018, Paris, France.



Significant alterations in the pharmacokinetics (PK) of antimicrobials have been reported in critically ill patients. We describe PK parameters of imipenem in intensive care unit (ICU) patients with suspected ventilator-associated pneumonia and evaluate several dosage regimens.


This French multicentre, prospective, open-label study was conducted in ICU patients with a presumptive diagnosis of ventilator-associated pneumonia caused by Gram-negative bacilli, who empirically received imipenem intravenously every 8 h. Plasma imipenem concentrations were measured during the fourth imipenem infusion using six samples (trough, 0.5, 1, 2, 5 and 8 h). Data were analysed with a population approach using the stochastic approximation expectation maximization algorithm in Monolix 4.2. A Monte Carlo simulation was performed to evaluate the following six dosage regimens: 500, 750 or 1000 mg with administration every 6 or 8 h. The pharmacodynamic target was defined as the probability of achieving a fractional time above the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of >40%.


Fifty-one patients were included in the PK analysis. Imipenem concentration data were best described by a two-compartment model with three covariates (creatinine clearance, total bodyweight and serum albumin). Estimated clearance (between-subject variability) was 13.2 l h(-1) (38%) and estimated central volume 20.4 l (31%). At an MIC of 4 μg ml(-1) , the probability of achieving 40% fractional time > MIC was 91.8% for 0.5 h infusions of 750 mg every 6 h, 86.0% for 1000 mg every 8 h and 96.9% for 1000 mg every 6 h.


This population PK model accurately estimated imipenem concentrations in ICU patients. The simulation showed that for these patients, the best dosage regimen of imipenem is 750 mg every 6 h and not 1000 mg every 8 h.



critical care; imipenem; population pharmacokinetics; ventilator-associated pneumonia

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